,
A
TREATISE
ON THE
INFLUENCE OF THE PASSIONS,
UPON THE
HAPPINESS
OF
INDIVIDUALS AND OF NATIONS.
ILLUSTRATED RY STRIKING REFERENCES TO TlIE PRDICIPAL
EVENTS AND CHARACTERS THAT HAVE DISTINGUISHED
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
TilE FUr:SCIl OF
THE BARONESS STAEL DE HOLSTEIN.
TO Willen IS rn[fIXED
/./ (" / 't
/" .. - . .'
/' t..):

BY TIE TR.n;SLATOR.
--------- -- .
!.1L",'ESIYlT CC':f.n Ivn:M I .... REPEnT.\.
LONDOll":
rr.J'lTED Asn prnUSIlED
T:Y r.rCl,RGr:: BRITISH LIBRARY, NO.13Z, STRANO j
ALSO roy W. J. &J. nICIUnnSOs, nOYAL-EXCIIANQE; AND
.T. ,nnctIT, PI CCAOILLY.

THE
AUTHOR's PREFACE.
--

I MAY, perhaps, seem to betray the im-
patience of authorship, by pnblishing the
first part of a WOrli while the second still
..
remains in an unfinished state: but this
impatience will, I trust, be excused, when
it .appears that; notwithstanding the con-
nection of the parts with one another,
each may be regarded as a separate worl,.
This impatience may lil,ewise as probably
arise from reflecting, that, condemned to
celebrity without the means of being pro-
perly Imown, I feel anxious that my writ-
ings should lead to the knowledge of my
disposition: for, incessantly exposed to the
shafts of calumny, and too conscious of my

own unimportance to attempt speaking of
"



Cvi J
myself, I unreluCtantly indulge the hope,
that by gi·ing to the world this Essay,
the fruit of my meditations, I may afford
- - ..
Some idea of the habits of my life,. and
the nature of my character.
L.WS.1NNE, Ju!y I, 1196.
n. '1
1
) r' r.
" . " , ~
~ _ ' . L _' I.,-U ~
,
,
SXETCH OF THE LIFE
o.
.
MADAME DESTAEL.
, '
- :
s 'f.
IT has been o b s e r ~ e d that the life of a man of
letters furnishes few incidents that can employ
the pcn of the biographer or gratify the curio.
sity of the public. The celebrity of an author's
works, indeed, throws a lustre upon the most
obscure scenes of his life, and dyes an interest
-
to the most trivial occurrences. Every little
anecdote derives an importance from the name
with which it is connected, and every action is
embellished by an association with performan-
ces which every one, reads and admires.
The life of a female author, in general,
must still be more barren of variety and of in-
cident. The amusements, the intrigues, the

[ viii ]
occupations of a woman of fashion, do not
greatly those who are beyond her circle.
Her \\ It or her manners may delight and
mate the scenes ill which she moves, but they
cannot be consigned '\ith equal effect to the
page of the biographer. When we arc told
that the woman of rank, whose writings we per.
use with pleasure, lived in the first orders of
fashion, that she was courted and admired by
the most distinguished votaries of literature,
we can expE'ct little farther gratification. It is
in her writings still that we cultivate an ac·
quaintance with her. As a woman of fashion,
she differs but little from the crowd around herj
\, hile the sprightliness of her conversation, and·
the elegance of her wit, in a literary circle, form
features of a charaCler which it is difficult to
and to embody in the detail of her life.
Madame de Stael possesses hereditary claims
to distinCliop. Independently of her own ceo
lebrity, she derives a consequence from the
parents to whom she owes her birth. She ii
tbe only child of the celebrated M. Neckar,

[ i ~ J
whose reputation as a financier and politiCian
has been equally extolled and depreciated.
. , .
The important offices which he filled, :-ind
the principal part which he performed in the
French monal'chy ut the beginning of the
revolution, have rendered him the object, of
tl11iversal notice; and his condua the subject
of much controversy. Many impute to him
the blame of having encouraged the revolution.
ary spirit till it became too powerful to be reo
pressed. At the same time, however calamitous
may have bem the consequences of that revolu-
tion, the intentioh of M. Neckar cannot fairly
be questioned, nor his fidelity to the master
whom he served justly arraigned.
.
Her mother was Mademoiselle Curchod, a

lady distinguished by the highest accomplish-
ments of mind and person. S:le was the first
love of the celebrated MI'. Gibbon, and he once
entertained the design of offering her his hand.
Eefore he could put his intention in execution,
Mademoiselle Curchod became the wife of M.
Neckllf, then a Banker at Paris. While she



[ x J
lived, she was the pride and ornament of the
rank in which she moved. The house of
Neckar was the resort of literary eminence•

:Madame Neckar \\ rote a varietyof pieces, which
did the highest honour to her talents. Since
her death, M. Neckar has published three vo·
lumes of her Thoughts, Maxims, Correspolldmce,
&c.
The only daughter of parents whose wealth
',,:a::. immense, whose literary qualifications were
so eminent, it is natural to suppose that the
education of Madame de Stael would be super-
intended in such a manner as to combine the

highest accomplishments with the firstrank:md
fortune. At a very early period of life she
displnyed l:ncommon powers. No pains were
spared to cultivate her mind. The example
and the attention of her mother equally
served to the improvement of her talents,
and she soon gained a superiority not merely
in superficial accomplishments, but in solid
acquirements, which fall to the lot of but very
few of her sex.
Cxi J
. Her natural ; per soon displayed the ut.
illost liness and vivacity.. III one of his
visits to Nc (kal', at his seat at Copet, near
,
Mr. Gibbon mentions his having
seen the daughter of his old mistress. She
was then about· and animatio'n,
and perhaps an excess of vivacity, were
• • ••
chiefcharat1eristics. .
• •
. '.
M. Neckar was a protestant, and wished to
unite his daughter toa man of the same religious
persuasion., At ail early age, accordingly, he
,
married his daughter to the Baron de Stael, a
Swedbh nobleman of rank and consequellce:
The Baroll de Stael was long the Minister of
Sweden ill Paris, and at present he fills the
office of Ambassador of his Court to the French
. .
Republic.
, .

,
This union, however, was' not th-ought to
- .' ,
be very happy. To whatever C.:luses it IlJight
be owing, ht:r marriage was not attelldcd ''lith
much domestic felicity, anti tor SOUle years
Madame Stae! and her husband have not lived'
on the best terms. Her warm and sprightly
[ xii J
temper and French education niight not well
agree with the more sober habits of a Swedil:lh
nobleman.

-
On the commencement of the Frencll
Iution, Madame Stael, of an ardent temper,
was to its cause•. She had already
begun to be distinguished for talents and wit,
and her house was frequented by many of the
first literary characters in France. She was
not, however, a partizan of the violent demo-
<;ratical faCtion: she was attached to what has
been termed the Constitutionalists, those who
were friends to a limited and constitutional
monarchy.
At her house, as Mr. Burke informs us in
his' Letters on a Regicide Peace,' the chiefs of
the Feuillalls used to meet and concert their

measures. These were the two Lameths, La
Favette, Barnaud Vergniaud, &c. This party,

ho\\ever, \\as soon crushed by the overbearing
and extravagant character of the Jacobins.
Several of its most aCtive leaders perished,
nlan)' of them were exiled, and Madame Stael
[ xiii ]
herself found it necessary to quit France. She
. ,
came to England, where she resided for S(}l11e
time. She lived rather retired in the country,
though occasionally visited by many persons
, .'
,
of distinction.
After the fall of the sanguinary Robespierre,
,
Madame Stae! returned to Paris, where ,she
again became the centre of attraction to a po-
litical party. When the constitution of 1195
- ' ,
was established, she ",as its decided supporter;
, .
and many of the persons who came into
power ul,1der the new government were her
, . '
friends. ~
The l ~ e w constitution was SOOIl assailed by
opposite factions, and the Directory were not
,
supposed to observe very scrupulously the
legal limits of their prerogatives. Parties be-
came incensed against each other. Madame
Stael was attached to the existing administJ:a-
, .
tion. She accordingly became the object of
abuse from the most violent of the other side,
, ,
0-
nlany of whom were accused of a del'ign to
h •
b
,

,
[ xiv J
restore royalty. Great influence with the ne\v
rulers was ascribed to Madame Stael. Many
measures obnoxious to the party in opposition
were imputed to her counsels. This import.
ance, and this influence with the people in
PO\\ er, 1Iadame Stael disclaims. Certain it is,
however, that some of the present Directors
and Ministers were frequently of her parties.
.This, howe\·er, may be as justly ascribed to
the attraction of her company and conversa.
tion, as to any influence or intrigue.
Previous to fhe violent measures which the
'"
Directory put in execution against so many
representatives of the people, in condemning
them to transportation without even the for.
mality of a trial, Madame de Stael was the
object of incessant scurrility and abuse. She
v:zs accused of being the main spring of many

schemes \ ~ · h i c h the friends of the Directory
thought it necessary to adopt. A number of
lampoons and epigrams were written against
her; but she disclaimed all concern in the tran-
iactiolls imputed to her.· Among these were
cxv )
the following whimsicallines, the first of which.
alludes to the work upon the passions:
Les AccollchemCIIs de la Barolllie de Stat!.
Apres avoir fait un gros livre,
Puis un gros club, puis un amant,
Puis un ministre au teint de euivre,
Puis un eommis nomme COllstant,
Puis un aehat, argent eomptallt,
Puis un plan quOAugereau doit suivre,
Puis a Barras son compliment,
Deux mois en repos voulant vivre,
La Baronne a fait-un enfant.
These squibs, however, and a thousand other
witticisms which were launched against her,
are totally without foundation. Madame de
Stue! was the enemy of those factions which
then, under various denominations, endea.
voured to obtain the executive power into their
own hands. From many passages of the fol.
lo\dng work, it appears that ~ h e deeply felt
and deplored the calamities which the revolu.
tion Lad produced. She was convinced that
France had suffered too much from the rage
of faction, again to tempt the same evils•

From a horror of innovation, she aCtually wish.
Cxvi J
ed to support the newly govern-
ment, and rather to adhere to what existed,
than to seek any change whatever. In faCt,
so far from deriving influence from that event,
which she WJS accused of having counselled,
she has since lived in the neighbourhood of
P<:ris in privacy and retirement.

Whatever the rage of faction, or the
malignancy of scandal, may have directed
against de StaeI, even her enemies do
not dispute the extent of her talents, and the
vigour of her mind. Her literary attainments,
her acquaintailce with mankind, her general
knowledge, her ingenuity, discrimination, and
philosophical acuteness, are generally confessed.
The charaCtel' of Madame de Stael's works
differs greatly from that by which the writings
of many of her sex are distinguished. She affeCts
no gaudiness of diCtion, no flimsy decoration, no
false and vitious refinement of stile, the faults
into which the writings of the fair in the present
age are apt to rtlll. She analyses with philoso•

[ xvii J
phical accuracy; her stile displays a masculine
vigour. If her composition be obscured by any
blemish, it is rather by a philosophical language,
which, from two great and generalizing abo
straction of ideas, becomes s t i t t ~ and by are·
finement of analysis which borders upon ob-
scurity. Those, howevel', who peruse her
writings with care, will find that they contajn
much information, and athorough acquaintance
with the human heart.
Besides the work upon the Passions, Madame
de Stael some time before published an Essay
on the CharaCTer and Writings of the celebrated
Philosopher of Geneva, Rousseau, This per-
formance possesses the highest reputation in
I·'ranee, It is distinguished by uncommon in-
genuity of remark, a singular discernment of
charaCter, and wonderful display of critical
acuteness. The charaCter of Rousseau has in
every country of Europe been canvassed with .
rigour, but the singular temperament of his
extravagant mind, the tnle merit and beauty
-
Cxviii J
of his writings were never more clearly deve.
loped and explained than in the Essay of Ma·
dame de Stae!.
The following work upon the Passions ob·
tained great success in France. It has lhewise
extended its fame into Germany. Its great
aim is to ~ h o w that the passions tend to embitter
the happiness of individuals, and to disturb the
peace of nations. She considers the very
essence of passion to consist in its violence;
passion under the dominion of reason is no
passion at all. She demonstrates that mankind
ought to endeavour to avoid as much as pos.
sible the influence of the passions; that is,
bring themselves to that state of philosophical
apathy when they can think without enthu.
siasm, and act without impulse.
The reasoning by which this doctrine is sup.
ported will be found to possess uncommon
ingenuity, the movements of the heart are l a ~ d
open with a masterly hand, and the origin of
Exix J
our feelings and sentimentscareflllly traced.
,
Upon a second perusal, her book will' please,
perhaps, more than upon the first. "
Madame de Stael i6 now about thirty. Her
figure is not'remarka:ble for beauty' or elegance.
She is not tall. There is, however,· a
and in her countenance
gagihg, and her manners and conversation ate
highly attractive. '.
TRANSLATOR.
The following account of this work is given
in the Appendix to the MONTHLY REVIEW:
H The daugMer of Neckar, the wife of the
Swedish Ambassador at Paris, has naturally
been a very close spectatrix of the revolutionary
phxnomena of that city. Worthy, from her
talents, to counsel mankind, and formed by the
Graces to influence their COllQuct, she has often
[ xx J
been suspected of taking a direct part in the
affairs of France, and has incurred abuse from
the vulgar insolence of Louvet, and other pe·
riodical writers.
" ,
, ,
" The whole of the work is written with a
, ,
smooth propriety, often ,bordering 011 elegance,
, ' . .
but never aspiring to, eloquence; yet it is
sufficiently enriched with ncw, sensible, and
" ,
valuable reflections
'1 1'.' rp
">,o'f\\
- -


INFLUENCE OF THE PASSIONS ~

UPON THE
HAPPINESS
OF
. ,
,INDIPlDUALS AND OF NATIONS.
,. ...
AT what period is it that I have attempted
·to discourse of the H Happiness of Indi·
,viduals and of Nations?" Is it amidst the
crisis of a wide desolating Revolution, the ef.
fects of which no condition has escaped; and
when its thunder strikes alike the bosom of
the lowly valley and the front of the proudest
hills? Is it at a time when, if you but live, you
are necessarily hurried on by one universal
movement-when the night of the grave fails
to secure repose---when the very drad are
judged anew, and their cold remains, which
popular favour had inurned, are alternately ad·
mitted into, or expelled from, that temple where
faCtions imagined they bestowed immortality?
Yes, it is at this very time, when either the
110pe or the want of happiness has prompted
the human race to rise; it is in an age like the
JI
~
,
[ 2 ]

present that one is powerfully led seriously to re-
fleCt on the nature of individual and political fe-
licity; on the road that leads to it; on the limits
th:lt confine it; all the rocks that rise between,
and bar us from its enjoyment. But shame,
however, be my lot, if during the reign of Ter-
ror under which France trembled, if during
the course of those two frightful years, my
mind had been capable of such a task !-shame
be my lot, if it had attempted to conceive the
plan, or ponder on the result of this monstrous
mixture of all human atrocities. The coming
generation will, perhaps, also be induced to
investigate the causes that influenced the blaGk
proceedings of t1)ose two eventful years; but
we, the contemporaries and the fellow citizens
of the hapless victims sacrificed on those days
of blood, could we have tbm retained the power
to generalize our ideas, to dwell unconcernedly
on mere abstraCt notions, to withdraw from
the home of heart, in order to analize its emo-
tions? No, not even now can reason attempt
to approach the examination of that unac-
countable <era. And, indeed, to appreciate
those events, under whatever colours you de-
prCt them, argues an attempt to reduce them
to the class of existing ideas, of ideas which we
are already in possession of \\ords to describe·
At the sight of this hideous piCturt: all the emo-
tions of the soul are roused anew: \\e freeze;
\; e burn; we are anxious for the combat j

we are resolved to die: but as for thinking,
thought cannot yet repose on any of those re-
collections; the sensations they impress absorb
every other faculty. It is therefore by see
cluding from my mind every retrospect of that
prodigious rera, while I avail myself of the
other prominent events of the French Revolu.
tion, and of the history of every nation, that I
shall endeavour to combine a few impartial ob·
servations on the nature of governments; and if
these reflections lead me to an admission oUhe
,
first principles on which is bottomed the French
Republican Constitution, I hope that, notwith-
standing the violence of party-spirit by which
France is torn, and, through the medium of
France, the rest of the civilized world-I hope,
I say, it may be possible to conceive that an
enthusiastic attachment to certain notions does
not exclude a sovereign. contempt for certain
men, * and that a favourable hope of the' future
may not be irreconcileable with ajust execration
of the past; and though the\vounds which the
heart has received must still contin ue to bleed,
yet, after the lapse of some interval, the mind
• In my opinion, the real partizJIls of republican liberty ar.
those who most vehemently execrate the crimes that have been per.
petrated in its name. Their adversaries may doubtless experience
the same horror at those abominations; but as those very crime5
supply an argument to their system, they do not overwhelm their
minds, as they do those of the friends of freedom, with "'ery p o ~ _
sible sens'ltion of srief.
,
may again raise itself to general contempla-
tions.
I n the present consideration of these im-
portant questions on which is to depend the
political destiny of man, ,YC ought merely to
view them in their own nature, and not barely
with relation to the calamities which have at-
tended their we ought at least to
examine whether these calamities be essentially
conneCted with the institutions which France is
desirous of adopting, or whether the effe6ts of
the Revolution be not wholly and absolutely
distinct from the consequences of the Consti-
tution ; we ought finally to evince sufficient
elevation of soul to spurn the apprehension,
lest, while we are exploring the foundation of
principles, \\ e should be suspe6ted of indiffe.
renee for crimes. It is \\ith a similar indepcn.
(le:1Cc of mind that I have essayed;in the first
part of this work, to describe the influence of
the passions of man upon his own personal hap-
piness. Neither do I perceive why it should
be more difficult to be impartial in the discus-
sion of political, than in the investigation of
moral questions: undoubtedly the passions
exert as powerful an influence as governments
on the condition of human life, and neverthe-
less, in the catll silence of retirement, our rea-
son is curious to discuss the sentiments we OU1'-
seh'es have experienced; nor, in my
ought it to be a more arduous task to discourse
[ S J
philosophicalIy of the advantages or disadvan-
tages of Republics and of Monarchies, than to
institute an exaCt analysis of Ambition, of Love.
or of any other passion that may have biassed
your conduct, and proved decisive of your fate.
In either part of this work, I have been equally
studious to be guided solely by my reason, and
to stecr it clear of all the impressions of the
moment. It is for my readers to judge how far
1 have succeeded.
From the passions, that impulsive force"
which domineers over the will of man, arises
the principal obstacle to individual and politi-
cal happiness. Without the interference of the
passions, governments would be a machine fully
as simple as the different levers whose power is
proportioned to the weight they are to raise,
and the destiny of man would exaCtly result
from a just equilibrium between his desires and
his means of gratifying them. I shall therefore
consider morals and politics only in as much
as they experience difficulties from the opera.
tion of the passions. CharaCters uninfluenced
by the passions naturally place themselves ill
the situation that best befits them, which is ge-
nerally the one pointed out to them by chance;
or if they introduce any change in it, it is only
that which \\as easily and immediately within
their reach. Let us not disturb their happy
calm; they want not our assistance; their hap'
,

C6 J
is as varied in appearance as the dire
ferent lots which their destiny has drawn; but
the basis of that happiness is invariably the
:>ame, viz. the certainty of never being either
agitated, or overruled by any emotion beyond
the compass of their resistance. The lives of
these impassible beings are doubtless as much
exposed as those of other men to the operation
of material accidents, which may destroy their
fortunes, impair their health, &c. ,
But affiictions of this nature are prevented or
removed not by sensible or moral thoughts,
but by positive computations. The happiness
of impassiv,z£d characters being, on the con-
trary, wholly dependant on what passes within
them, they alone can derive COil solation from

the reflections whic:. are awakened in their
souls; and as the natural bent of their inclina.
tions exposes them to the most cruel calami.
ties, they peculiarly in need of a system
whose object it "is to avoid pain. In a word, it
is your impassioned charaClers only who, by
means of certain traits of resemblance, maYJ
in their <lggregate, become the subject of the
same general considerations. Persons of the
other cast of charaCler live, as it were, one by
. one, \\ ithout either analogy or variety, in a mo,
notonous kind of existence. though each of them
pursue a difierent end, and present as many va-
r:ring shades as there are individuals: it is im"

possible, however, to discover in them any real
charaCteristic colour. If, in a treatise on indio
vid ual happiness, 1 touch only on impassioned
charaCters, it is still more natural to analize
governments in relation to the play they give
to the influence of the passions. An indivi-
dual may be considered as exempt from pas.·
,ions; but a coIleClive body of men is composed
,
of a certain number of charaCters of every cast,
which yield a resI' It nearly similar: and it ought
to be observed, that circumstances the most de.
pendent on chance, may be the subject of a
positive calculation, whenever the chances are
IlIultiplied. In the Canton of Beme, for ex-
ample, it has been observed that every ten
years nearly the same number of divorces took
.place; and there are· several towns in Italy
where an exact calculation is made of the num·
bel' of murders that are regularly committed
every year. Thus events, which linkwith amul.
titude of various combinations, have their pe-
riodical return, and preserve a fixed propor-
tion, when our observations on them are the
J'Csult of a great Humber of chances. Hence
we may be led to believe that political science
may one day acquire the force of geometrical
evidence. The science of morals, when applied
to a particular individual, may be wholly
roneOll5 with regard to him; but the organiza-
tion of a is invariably grollnded 0/1

data that are fixed, as the greater number ill
every thing affords results that are always si-
milar and always foreseen. That the
difficulty which the march of govern-
ments, arises from the passions, is a truth that
needs no illustration; and it is pretty· evident
that all the despotic social combinations would
prove equally suitable to those listless and inert
dispositions that are satisfied to remain in the
situation which chance has allotted them, and
that the most purely abstract· democratical
theory might be reduced to practice among
wise men, whose sale rule of conduCt would be
the dictates of their reason. You might, there.
fore, solve whatever is problematical in con-
stitutions, if you could but discover to what
degree the passions may be incited or repressed}
without endangering the public happiness.
But before I proceed further, it may perhaps
be expeCted that I attempt a definition of hap-
piness. Happiness, then, such as we aspire
after, is the re.union of all the contraries. For
individuals, it is hope without fear, aCtivity
without solicitude, celebrity without detrac-
tion, love without inconstancy; that glow of
imaginati0l1 that embellishes to the eye of fancy
whatever we possess, and dims the recollection
of whatever we may have lost; in a word, the
very reverse of moral nature, the pure perfec-
of every condition, of every talent, of
[ 9 ]
every pleasure, and unadulterated
with the ills that usually attend them. The
happiness of nations mllst likewise result from
the well.tempered combination of .republicall
liberty with monarchical quiet; of the rivalry
of talents with the inaEtivityof factions; of the
pride of military glory abroad with submissive
obedience to the laws at Happiness,
such as the mind of man endeavours to con-
ceive, is an beyond the reach of human
efforts; and happiness that is attainable, 'can
only be accGmplished by a patient !'.tudy of the
surest means that can us from the greater
ills of life. To tJieinvestigation of these means
the present treatise is devoted. , .
And in this attempt, two works may be
blended into one-The first considers man in
his relations to himself; the other views him ,tn
the social relations of all the individuals to each
other. Nor are the principal ideas of these two
works without some analoe:y ; 'because a nation
.
exhibits the c11araCter of a man, and the force
of a government acts ;l.1pon a nation as an indi·
vidual is aaed on by the force of his own rea-
son. The wish of the philosopher is to give
permanency to the transient" ill of reftdtion,
while the social art tends to perpetuate the ac-
tions of wisdom. In:l word, what is great is
discoverable in \, hat is little; together with
c
[ 10 ]
the same exactness of proportions. The whole
of the universe is reflected in each of its parts,
and the more. it appears the result of one
grand idea, the greater is the admiration it
• •
lilsplres.
There is a wide difference, however, between
the system of Individual Happiness and that of
the Happiness of Nations: in the former, we
may aspire to the most perfeCt moral indepen-
dence; that is, to the subjeClion of all the pas.
sions, every Illan having it in his power to
make the experiment on himself: but in the
latter, political liberty must be calculated on
the positive and indestructible existence of a
certain numbel' ofimpassioned dispositions, which
constitute a part of the people who are to be
governed. The first part of this work shall be
solely consecrated to reflections on the indi-
vidual destiny of man ;-the second will em-
brace the constitutional lot of nations.
The first volume is divided into three sec-
tions; the first of which treats successively of
the infl uence of each particular passion on the
happiness of man; the second analizes the rela-
tion between certain affeCtions of the soul to
.the operation of passion or of reason; the
third exhibits a piCtlll'e of the resources which
man finds within himself; of those that are
independent of chance, but more especially of
the will of other men.
CII J
In the second part of this work, it is my
intention to examine ancient and modern
Governments, with respeCt to the influence
which they leave to the passions that are natural
to men in a state of political union; and to
trace the causes of the rise, duration, and the
fall of Governments, from the greater or less
play \\ hich they have given to that curiosity
of aCtion which exists in all societies, In the
first seCtion of the second part, 1 will investi-
gate the causes that have abridged the duration
and the happiness of those Govern-
ments in which all the passions have been reo
pressed. In the second section, I will enquire
into the causes that have been unfriendly to the
happiness, and particularly to tl.e duration of
Governments \\here all the passions have been
incited: In the third seCtion, I will treat of
the reasons which dissllade the generality of
mankind from confining themselves within the
compass of little states, where democratical
liberty may indeed exist, but where there is
110 powerful iilcentive to kindle the passions,
and no great field in which they may expatiate.
In fine, I will close this work with some
refleCtions on the nature of Representative
Constitutions, in II hich may be combined a part
of the advantages that are the desiderata of other

,
[ 12 ]
These two works are necessarily conneCted:
for if man, in his individual capacity, could
succeed in subjugating his passions, the system
of Governments would be so simplified, that
we could then adopt, as praCticable, that COm-
independence, which the organization of
little States rap3hle of., But allowing the
imp"lfricabjlity of this metaphysical theory, it
wmild nC\TrtheLss be truE', that the more we
laoo\ircd to tranquilize the impetuous senti-
me;:t, tk,t disturb the internal quiet of the
heart, Jess would be the necessity
p::blic liberty. It is the dominion
0: the th:!t continually compels us to
of Ollr independence, that we may
secure oreer, and all the means that tend to
rbtorc to reason its due ascendancy, and dillIi-
the number of stlcrifice£ we must make of
• • • •

'leel,f'es
1 1 L. •
I h:1V(' as yet scarcely entered on the second
pQ!itie<d part; nor can I now attempt to give
any more t);an a succinct and cursory idea of it.
As my mind dwells on it, I perceive that a,
considcT,de lengt') of time will be necessary
. .
far cclI::cting the various information, and in-
stit!ltir,o an the necessary researches that must
contribute to form its ground-wo.rk. But
should the changes and r.hances of this mortal
,.
life, or the pa:nful emotions that agitate my
hear!:, cut short the thread of my existence,
[ 13 J
I should be happy that some other pen would
execute the plan which I have traced out t,)
myself. The following is an imperfect view
of it; but \\hich cannot convey any idea of t h ~
whole.
Our first care should be, in the analysis of
ancient and modern Governments, to trace out
and to discover, in the history of nations, \\ hat
solely belongs to the nature of their respeBive
constitutions. MONTESQUIEU, in his sublime
work on the Causes qftbe Greatness alld ofibe Fall
qf the Romans, has promiscuously treated of the
various causes that infl uenced the fate of that
empire. To his book we must -resort for in-
formation, and at the ~ a m e time select from
the history of other nations those events which
immediately flowed from their constitutions;
and perhaps it may be found that every event is
derived from the same wurcc. Nations are
brought up by their Governments as children
are by parental authority: but the. operation
or Governments on Nations is not uncertain,
like that of private education on individuals.
For, as I have already observed, the chances
of hazard may operate with regard to the'cha-
racter of one individual, while, with regard to a
collective body of men, the results are always
the same. That organization of the public
power, which stimulates or represses ambition,
renders this or that religious worship more or

"
[ 14 ]
less necessary; this or that particular penal code
either too mild or too severe; or a given extent
of territory either dangerous or convenient.-
In a word, on the idea \\ hich Nations conceive
of the Social Order, depends the destiny of the
human race under all its relations; and the
highest degree of perfe[lion of which it is SllS-
ceptible, is the acquisition of fixed notions 011
the suljeCt of political knowledge. Were Na-
tions at peace, both at home and abroad, the
arts, the sciences, and discoveries of every kiud
would daily advance with new and more rapid
strides, and philosophy would not fall back, in
two years of civil war, from the progress it had
been making during ages of tranquillity.
After having fully established the primJry
importance of the nature of Constitutions, their
influence must next be proved by the examina·
tion of characteristic traits, drawn from the
history of t:;e manners, the administration,
the literJture, the art military of every natiou.
I shall first take a view of the countries \\ hich
in all times have been ruled by despotic power,
c:nd while I endeavour to account fer their ap-
parent difference, I \\ill shew that their history,
as far as it regards the relation of cause and
effe3", has unifcrmly been perfectly similar.
I shall also explaIn the effects that must inva.
riably be produced on the mind of man, by
the compression of his natural emotions, and
[ 15 ]
that by an external force to which his reason
gives no kind of assent, and over which it pos-
sesses no controul. In the examination of anar-
chies, whetl:er demagogical ,)r military, it is
also to be observed, that these two causes, which
appear so opposite, afford similar results, be-
cause in the two kinds of States the
passions are equally excited in the human
by the removal of all positive fears, and the
vivifying influence of all unlimited hopes.
In the consideration of certain States, which,
from peculiar circumstances, still more than
by the smallness of their extent, are utterly
lIlla ble to play any principal part on the theatre
of Politics, and which within themselves can.
open no field to the range of genius and am-
bition, it is curious to observe how solicitous.

man is to exercise his faculties, and what eager-
ness he betrays to enlarge his sphere of action,
in proportion to his consciousness of powers.
In States that are sunk in obscurity, the arts
remain stationary, literature is neither encou-
raged nor advanced by that emulation which
calls forth the powers of Eloquence, nor by
that variety and multitude of objects of com-
parison, by which alone sound judgment and
refined taste can with certainty be acquircc.
Men, who are deprived of vigorous occup:.!-
have their minds daily contrJetcd more
;and 1I10re within the circle of domestic ideas i


C16 ]

but talents, genius, and whatever man inhe-
rits as the gifts of nature, on only be ex-
panded and improved by an unchecked inter-
course \\ ith dillerent societies. Among the
same numoer of men, who remain divided and
separated, without any spring of aCtion, or
any obje5t of pursuit, there is scarcely ever
discovered a superior mind, an ardent soul, an
energetic character; while in other countries,
among a similar number of individuals, many
would haw soared to distinguished eminence,
if a suitable ohject inspired interest, and if
interest stimulated them to the study and pur-
suit of powerful accomplbhments and elevated
thoughts.
"Without attempting to dwell on the motives
of the preference which wisdo:n perhaps might
induce us to give to obscure States as well as
to obscure conditions, it easy to prove, from the
very nature of mankind, that they are impelled
to emerge from that situation which they unite
together, in order to multiply the coJ1isions of
understanding, and that they conquer in order
to extend their pO\\er ; in a word, that eager
to rouse and exercise their faculties, and to en-
large in e\'ery direction the founderies of the
human mind, they unanimously solicit around
th('!11 the interposition of every circumstance
that invigorates this impulse and seconds t h i ~
desire.

[ 17 J
These different refleCtions can have no weight
or value, but in as much as they are counte-
nanced by facts, by a minute and detailed know.
ledge of history, which continually holds up to
us new ofconsideration: \\ ben we study
it \Iith a fixed view, and w1.en guided by that
eternal resemblancc between Ilian and man,
we pursuc the salllC truth through an immense
diversity of places anel of times. These dif.
ferent reflections would finally lead us to the
principal objeCt of Ollr prefent discussion, the
llle.ans of giving to a great nation a constitution
built on order and on liberty, and of thus reo
conciling with the independence of repUblics
the splendour of tl:e fine arts, of sciences, and
of which arc w proudly said to flourish
only under the 5haue of 1ll0:];ll cbies. A go-
vernment should be forllled tLc.t would awaken
genius by emulation, while it curbed the pas.
sions of ; a govern men t \\ hich would
hold out to a superior man an object worthy of
his powers, while it damped the ambition and
dashed the guilty hopes of the usurper: a go.
vernment, ill a word, which would exhibit, as
I have said before, a perfett idea of complete
happiness, the re·union of every contrast. The
attainment of this end should be as ardently
pur£ucd by the legislator, as it ought to be re-
jected by the moralist: the individual who
should pretend to attain it for himself must be
1>



C18 ]
mad, fer chance, \\ hich it is not in his power
to direct, \'.ould in every manner baffie and de,
feat such hopes. But governments hold, as it
were, the phlce of chance, with resped to na-
tions, for as they act upon the mass, their
and cannot be douutful: nor dot's it fol-
low from hence that we can attain to perfection
in the social order; but it is of advantage that
le;isbtors should hold this end in view, how-
ti\1Jule they may be to ascertain the road
that leads to it. In the prosecution therefore
of this whether it be per{\wmcd by me,
or hy another hand, it is
to exclude thing that savours of the spi·
rit of party or the present circul11stanc::s, as a
veneration for royalty, the just
1101'1'01' impressed by the crimes we have seen
and even our very enthusiasm for

the repubiic, though enthllsias\ll ill its purity
be the scntimellt \\ hich can possibly
inform the heart of man. \Yere we toexallline
in tlwir verv essence, we should

1\0011 agree that there remains but one grcat
to divide the opin:un of thinking men,
.... iz whethcr in the con:;linat;oll of mixed go.
"\'ernmc;,ts \';e arc or ,\\e aI": not to admit here-
ait-tn' ri"h: r \\'c all, I Lelil ve arellnanimulls as
_ • , J ,
to he inadmi'sibility rf despoLisl1l, or tIle estab.
0:' any power that lias "lot for its ob-
ject :h[ happinessof;:!I; "nd, doubtless, weare
equilUy 1l:1animous in rejecting the absurdity of
[ 19 J
a 'I: demagogical constitution, which \VonId OVer-
turn and destroy society in the name of the very
people who compo,e it. But some will have it
that the security of liberty, that the mainte-
nance of order, cannot subsist without the aid
of an hereditary protecting power; while others
acknowledge also the truth of the principle,
that order, that is, obedience to justice, secures
liberty: they, at the same time, imagine that
the blessing of liberty may be obtained without
a species of institutions \V hich necessity alone
can justify, and which reason ought to disavow;
whereas reason she'.vs us that they arc not more
conducive to the happiness of society than the
result of natural ideas. It is on those two ques-
tions that, in my opinion, the attention of every
mind should be occupied: they must be wholly
separated fro111 the cn:ltemplation of every
thing we have seen, :Ind even of evcry thing
which we now see j ill a word, from every
thing connected with the revolution; for, as it
lK1S been well observed, the revolution must
terminate in reasoning, and those only are can.
quered who are cOl1vincru.
Let, therefore, the odious epithets of servile
andJaEliolls, of conspirators and allarcbists, that are
" ~ By a dmwgogical constitution, I undcrstanJ that wbich "'orb
the pcoplc into a continual fcrmcnt, which confoullds every power·
, ,
III a word, the constitution of 179,. As the rerm dono,mc)' is_
in our days, taken in a "ariet)' of senses, it \\"ol:ldnot Ill'"" r ~ n .
dcred li'ith exaCluesi wilat I alll desirou. to expr"".



[ 20 J
so liberallv bestowed on mere opinions, never

stain the name of men who have any personal
merit to distinguish them. Our actions only
are cognizable by the laws; but the moral
world belongs to thought: whoever wields that
weapon, may forego all others; and the man
who is capable of employing it, may thereby
disdain to stoop to any other means of de-
fence.
Several works of excellent writers contain
arguments ill" favour of modified hereditary
right, as in England for example, where it con-
stitutes two branches of the constitution, while
the third power is purely representative; or as
at Rome, where the political power was divided
between democracy and aristocracy, the people
and the senate: we ought therefore to expose
the motives which induce a belief that the ba-
lance of those opposite interests can alone give
stability to governments; that a man, IV ho is
conscious of possessing talents, or who sees his
hands armed with authority, will naturally en-
dea\'our first at personal and afterwards at he-
reditary distinCtions; and that consequently we
ought to give a legal existence to what he will
employ force to obtain. These and many
other points of argument it is necessary to Ull-
fold, omitting on either side those which are
supposed to be deducible from right; for the
principle of right in politics is that which most
unerringly leads to general happiness; but it
C21 J
is proper to give a fair and candid expositicn of
the arguments of our adversaril''I, when we in-
terid to bring them to a serious and sincere dis·

CUSSlOn.
It might be objeCted to them that consti-
tuting of two opposite interests in' a state has
been the principal cause of the subversion of
many governments: and it has been regarded
as the highest perfeCtion of political science 80
to measure the two opposin g aClions, that the
aristocratic and democratic power may be ex-
aCtly balanced, like two wrestlers whOIll all
equal degree of strength renders motionless.
And, indeed, the most prosperous moment of
all such governments is that when these powers
are thus nicely poised, and when from this per-
fea balance arises that rest which results from
two efforts repressed one hy the olher. But
such a state cannot be of long duration; for"
following up the comparison, the instant that
one of the wrestlers loses but for a minute the
advantage, he is thrown do\\ n by the other, but
rises again, and himself, by throwing
down bis antagonist in his turn. Thus the
Roman republic was torn and distraCled, when-
ever a war, the ambition of an individual, or
the mere operation of time, disordered this
equilibrium. \
\Vc shall be told that in there aioe
three interests, and that this COIll Lination

J
secures the public tranquility. But there cat"
be no such tting as three interests in such a
,
government: hereditary privileges and those
that are not hereditary may pass under dif-
ferent denomination:;; but the division of
power always proceeds on these two grounds-
these are the grand motives of opposition \\ hich
induce men to separate or to unite. May it
,
not be possible for mankind, who have so long
been the witness and the vitiim of this prin-
ciple of hatred, of this germ of death, which
has proved the destruCtion of so many states,
to fin d out the means of terminatin g this
struggle between aristocracy and democracy,
and, instead of attempting the formation of a
balance of power, which, by leaning to liberty,
never fails to be finally overturned, duly to
examine whether the modern notion of a repre-
sentative system docs not succeed in creating
one interest, one vivitying principle in a state,
rejetiing at the same time whatever tends to
democracy?
Let us suppose, at first, a very small number
of men seleCted from among an immense na-
.
tion, an election proceeding on two principles;
on tl:e necessity of their having passed through
\\ hich discover the talents and the
dispc5itions of the human mind, and of their
possessing both an independency of fortune,
ilnu claims to the public esteem, so necessary

[ 23 J
to support them in such situations; might not
?n eleetioli thus modified establish an aristocracy
of the kind, the pre-eminence and ascen·
dancy of talents, of virtues, and of property?
'{l.is kind of dhtjnC1:ion, without constituting
two classes de jure, which would prove, deJafto,
hostile to each other, would entrust the more
enlightened with the government of their fel·
low men, and by raising superior charaC1ers to
power, through the elective privilege of their
inferiors, would assign to talent its proper
place, and alfbrd mediocrity its proper canso·
lation ; it wouid also interest the self.love of
the multitude in the succC'ss of their rulers,
it would oJlcn the fie:d of emulation to all,
while it adillitted but the chosen few. The
advantages or an aI istocracy of birth would
result from a combination of circllmstances
which make it lllOre probable that in such a
class is to be fOl:nd the infl L1ence of generous

sentiments.
The aristocracy of election, when its proceed.
ings are conduCted with wisdom alld integrity,
canllot fail to seleCt mcn disLlllguished for their
talents, whom it \\ill place in the most emi·
nent statiolls of society. vVhere is the impos-
sibilIty but that a. division of powers may be
:lttended with al1 the advantages, II ithout any
of the inconvcniencies of an of in·
terests ; that two Councils, with an Executive

-

[ ]
DireCtory, though temporary, may remain
pcrfeElly distin[t in the discharge of their func-
tion,) that each may take a different direaion
from the nature of his employ, not from an
esprit de corps, which is of a tendency very dif-
ferent indeed? Those persons who thus, from
their departments in the adi11inistra.
till!] 0;' the public po\'Oer, have remained sepa-
rated cc:rin g the period of their magistracies,
may afain rC-i;nite and blend with the general
mU.ss ef the nation; for no contrary interest
\\ ould 0Pi}c)se :m invincible obstacle to their
re·unic!1. ,Yhere is the impossiLility but that
aa extensive country, far from being an im-
pediment to such an order of things, may, 011
tile contr::ry, by its very extent, be peculiarly
ad::pted to ics stability? For a successful con-
snirac", or the ambition of a single individual,
• •
m:Jy <"dden1y on the citadelof,a small
stace, :ll:J tlY t:1:1t alone change the form of
its govcr:1l11e:1t, '\\ hi Ie it is the impulse only of
one ouinion th:lt C:ll1 rouse and call into
v •
aCtion thirty 1:liilib:1S of men; every thing that
is effeCted Uj i:HliviJuals only, or by a faction
that is !:ot \\armcrl and informed by the public
heart, is immediately crushed and overpowered
t>\' the mass, \\ hieh rushes on from all quarters.
• °
It is impossible there should exist an usurper
in a ,::ol:nt1"\, where the same man mllst attach

to himself the public opinion fl:om the Rhine
t 25 J
,
"
to the Pytenees; the idea of a constitution, df
un order of things, sanctioned and supported by
general assent, can alone be a centre of unity,
enabled to spread \\ ide the influence of its
po\\er. The government of extensive cotlll-
tries is upheld by the enormo:Js mass of peace.
able men, and this mass is prh!Joltionally
greater in a great nation than ill a s!llall
cou/ltry. The governors in a small cOllntry
nre far l1Iore multiplied in relation to the go.
verned, and the part which each of them takes
in any proceeding whatever is propol'tionally
greater, and more easily asserted; in a word,
those who persist in the unqualified assertion,
that no constitution has been ever botwmed
on such a basis; and that it is much wiser to
adopt the forms that have already existed for
ages, J would only entreat to dwell f6r a 'Plo.
ment on a reHeClion, \\ hich, if I mistake not,
deserves very particular attention.
In all human sciences we begin with com-
plex ideas, and only attain simple ideas as we
idvance in the progre.ss to perfection. Abso.
lute ignorance in these natural combinations
is not so far removed from the highest point of
knd\\ledge as a smattering of information. A
comparison will explain my meaning more dis-
tinctly. On the revival of letters, t ,e first
Uterary performances which were tomposel,i
lit

[ 26 J
were ftill of litiffhess and affeetatidn. The great
writers, two ages after, practised and introduced
into fashion the simple s ~ i l e of writing. The
~ p e e c h of the savage who exclaimed, ' Shall we
:;ay to the ashes of our fathers, rise up and fol-
low us?' bore a'greater affinity to the stile of
Voltaire than the turgid vel'ses of B;ebeuf or
Chapelain. In mechanics, the machine at
Marli* was first discovered, which, at enormous
expence, raised water to the summit of a moun-
tain. After this machine were discovered
pumps, which produce the same effect, with in-
finitely less apparatus. Without meaning to
convert a comparison into a proof, suppose
t.hat, after it has existed an hundred years in
England, the idea of liberty should again have
appeared in the world. The complex structure
of the English government might be the highest
pgint of perfeCtion, which at that period it was
possible to attain. Now, however, principles
much more simple may produce in France, af.
ter the revolution, consequences in some re-
speers as beneficial, in others still more advan-
tageous. Independently of all the individual
• The machine at Marli. formerly -:I. royal residence in
FraI>';e, not far from Versailles, where, by' water-works upo.
the Seine, water i, rai'cd for the supply of the gardens,
t.e. _
[ 27 J'
crimes which have been p e r p e t r a t e ~ , social,
order itself was threatened with destruction in
. '.
the course of this revolution, by the politicaL,
system which was adopted. ' Barbar.o\ls man..,
llers are more closely connected with simple
institutions, ill understood, than with those of a
complicated nature. Still, however, it is true,
,
that social order, like every other science,
advances to perfection in proportion as the
llumbel' of powers brought into play is '. di
minished without weakening the effc:ct. These
considerations, and many others, would lea4 to
• •
a. complete discussion of the nature and utility
of hereditary authorities, .as component; parts
of a constit!Jtioll ; and. the nature and:utility of
constitutions admitting only temporary magis.
tracies. It should never be forgotten that this
,.
is the only point upon which difference of sen-
timent exists; the remains of despotic or de-
magogical opinions are extravagant or criminal
chimeras, which have lost all hold on the mind
of every perSOll who exercises the powers of
refleCUon.
It would be no inconsiderable advantage, I
am persuaded. to treat, in a manner purely, abo
straCt que!'tions, which opposite passions have
alternately perverted to their own views. By
examining truth, detached from men and from
particular. times, we attain conclusions which
afterwards may be applied with greater facility
to present circlimstances. After having exe·
. .
cuted a work of this n;Lture, ho..... ever, in what-
ever general- point of view these great questions
might be considered, it would be in1possilJle to
refrain from a particular application, and to
l'3onclude without viewing them in their relatiOll
to France and the rest of Europe. Every con·
sideration i n v i t e ~ France to remain a repuhlic.
Every consideration imperiously prohibits Eu"
rope to follow her example. One of the most
ingenious performances 1)f our time, that of
Bejamin Constant, has treated in a most com.
plete rimnner the qi.lestion of the pre5ent state
of France. Two motives of feeling strike my
t11ind \\ ith particular force upon this S ~ l bjeCl:.
Can the people of France wish to undergo the
miserie, of a new revolution, in order to'super.
sede that which establishes the repuhlic? Is
the coura?e of so m:lllY armies and the blood
of so many heroes to be lavished in the name

of a chimera, which should leave nothing be·
:pind it but the we\l1ory of the crimes which it
has cost 1
France then ought to persevere in that grand
exp,:,riment, the calami.ties of which are passed,
the hop's of which are in futlll ity. But can
Europe be insprcJ \\ ith sufficient horror for
revolutions? These who detest the principles
of the l!'rench"collstitution, who are the avowed
ene!,nies of 'evuy idea of who rickon it
criminal til love repnblic even in iiTiagination,
as if the Catos, the Brutbses, the Sydneys were
insepilrably confounded with the criminals'"ho
have disgraced ,France':" tIlo3eintolerant and
fanatical beings can never by their
vehement 'declamiltions, the philosophers of fo-
reign countries. Bllt let' Europe listen with
respect to the friend!! of Ii and'of that reo
publican government in 'France which they
embraced with:zeal:and alilcrity, when it was
no longer criminal to adopt it, \vhen the wish
migh't be indul'ged' without shedding a drop of
blood. No monarchical gbvernment, at pre.
sent, contains such inveterate abuses but that
a single day of revolution would extort more
tears than all the miseries it was' intended to
remedy. To wish for a revolution is t6 devote
to death alike the innocent and' guilty; it
is perhaps to condemn to destruction the onjeC1
we hold most del+r! Never, too, do we ourselves
obtain the end ;which we had proposed to pur.
c!lase with that dreadful sacrifice: In the ter-
rible movements with whiGh revolutions are
attended) 110 man able to comolete the enter.
,
prise he has begun. No man can flatter him-
\>elf with the hope that he shall be able to reo
gulate an impulse, of which the nature of things
[ 30 J
necessarily assumes the guidance. The slave.
of ambition, who should imagine that he could
steer his course with success through the events
of a whole revolution, would not be less fi'antic
than the Englishman who endeavoured to de-
scend in his boat the falls of the Rhine at Schaf-
fouse, "
Permit us in France to fight and canque;".
let us submit to torture and to death in the
:sacrifice of our warmest affeCtions, our dearest
attachments, destined, perhaps, one day to
,
revive for the astonishment and admiration of
the world. At least, however, allo.w an age to
pass over our destinies, and then you will know
whether we have· acquired: t h ~ true science of
the happiness of mankind; you will then know
\;,hether the old man had formed :t just estimate
of huhum pol!cy, or the young man had dis.
posed, to the best advantage, of his property for
the future! Alas! is it not fortunate for you
that a whole nation has thus placed itself as
the vanguard of the human species, to 1;>rave
all prejudicies, to try all principles? Attend
ye \\'ho belong to the present generation, keep
far from your societies animosity, proseri ptiol1,
* This attempt was aCtually made ~ o m e years ago by an
English nollleman; but his mhness cost him his life.
C31 ]
:md death. No duty can exact sacrifices lih
these. To shun them, on the contrary, is a
1"", which every duty combines to i m p o ~ e .
I hope I may be forgiven for having allowed
myself thus to be hurried beyond my subjeCt ;
but who can live, who can write at the present
moment, without feeling and refleCting upon the
I
revolution of France?
I have marked out an imperfeCl sketch of the
work which I projected. The first part which
I now deliver to the public is founded upon the
study of our own heart, and upon the observa-
tions made upon the charaCter of mankind in
every age. In the study of government we must
propose happiness as theend, and liberty as the
means. In the moral science of man, indepen.
dence of mind is the principal ohjeCl to be culti-
vated; the happiness to be enjoyed is the conse.
quence which it may afford. The man who
should devote his life to the pursuit of perfect
felicity would be the most wretched of beings;
the nation which should only direct its effort!i to
the attainment of the highest abstract point of
metaphysical liberty, would be the most miser-
able nation in the universe. Legislators then
ought to calculate and to direCt circumstances;
individuals should endeavour to render them.
selves independent of them: governments
should aim at the real happiness of all ; and
"
h10ralists ought to teach individuals to dispense
Y.ith happiness. ~
In the very oropr of things some good"is ne-
cessarily produced for the 1113SS, and yet there
is no felicity for individuals. Every thing COIl-
curs to the preservation of the species, every
thing conspires to oppose the desires of the in-
dividual; and governnlents, in some respeCts re-
presentatives of the scheme which ohtain in the
system of nature, may attain that perfe,<tion of
which the general order furnishes the exampie.
But moralists, addressi nl! themsE'lves, as I can·
ceive, to men singly, to :Ill those individual
beings carried along in the universal moment,
cannot promise them personally any· enjoy-
ment but that which ever depends tlpon them-
selves. There is considerable advantage to be
obtained from proposing, as the objeCl bf aUf
efforts upon ourselves, the most perfeCt philo-
sophical independence. Even i.lseless attempts
leave behind them some salutary effeCts. ACt.
ing at once upon the whole of the being which
constitutes ourselves, we are not startled by the

apprehension, as in experiments tlpon nationsj
of disjoining, ofseparating, of opposing to each
other the various component parts of the body
politic. In our breasts we have no compromise
to make with external obstacles. We calculate
our own strength, we triumph, or we abandon
[ 33 J
the contest, Every thing is simple; every
thing even is possible; for if it is allowed to
consider a whole nation as a people of philoso-
phers, it is true that every individual may
aspire at that character, and flatter himself with
its attainmcnt.
I am prepared for the various ohjeClions of
feeling and of argument which may be urged
against the system inculcated in this first part.
Nothing, itis truc, is Illore repugnant to the first
emotions of youth than the idea of rendering
ourselves independent of the affeetions of others.
The carliest impulse is to consecrate life to ac-
quire t h ~ love of friends, and to captivate the fa.
vour of the public. At that period of life we seem
to think t:lat we have never dedicated enough of
our tillle to please those we love, that we have
never sufficiently proved holV necessary the:r
welfare is to our existence. U11\\ earied in.
dustry, incessant services, are but poor displays
of that ardour of soul, that irresistible necessity
which impels us to devote our whole a t t ~ n t i o n ,
to surrender our whole being to others: \Ve
figure to ourselves a futurity wholly composed
of those ties which we have formed, we rely
with the more implicit confidence upon their
duration, because we ourselves are incapable of
ingratitude. We are conscious of possessing
F

[ 34 J

right to ackno\dedgement, we depend upon
friendship thus constituted more than upon
any other tie in nature: every thing is means,
this alone is the end. We wish likewise to
obtain the esteem of the public, and our friends
seem pledges for the atrainment of our wishes.
\\'e have done every thing to promote their
advantage; they know it, they confess it. Why
then Will truth, the truth impressed by expe.
rience. fail to convince the world of our sin-
o
eerity r What! can it fail to be ultimately
recognised? The innumerable proofs which
from every quarter conspire to establish its
reality must at length triumph over the fabri·
cations of calumny. Our words, our accents,
the air we breathe, all seem to vou to bear

the impression of what we really are, and we
deem it impossible to be long exposed to er-
roneous interpretations. It is with a feeling of
unlimited con£dence like this, that we launch
with flying sails into the ocean of life. All that
knowledge has \\ itnessed, all that report has
communicated to you,ofthe bad dispositions ofa
great numher of men, appears in your mind like
history, like the lessons in morality which we are
taught, but never have experienced. Wenever
think of applying any of these general ideas to
our partic
l1
L,r 5ituation. Every thing that be.
L,!s '-", :\"ry thing which we observe arounc1
C35 J
us Is classed as exception. The talent we tll11Y
possess obtains no influence upon our conduct
The voice ~ f the heart, the impulf\e of the so.ul,
is alone fcIt and obeyed. Those faCis whicn
we ourselves have nev.er experienred are known
only to our understanding, without eyer enter-
ing into life, and guiding our actions.
At the age of twenty-five, however, precisely
at that period .when lifeceases to enlarge, when
our being is fixed, a severe change takes place
in our existence. Men begin to judge of our
situation. All then is not future ill our des-
tiny. In muny respeCts our lot is fixed, and
men then reflect whether it be for their a d v a n ~
tage to connect their fortune with ours. If
such a union present to their view fewer ad-
vantages than they had imagined, if in any
manner their expectation is disappointed, at
the moment ·theyhave resolved to .separate
themselves from you. they are anxioUs to justify
to their OWll minds, by some pretext, the injury
to you which they.areabout to commit. They
pry into your charaOer, they endeavour to dis.
cover a thousand defeCts in it, in order to acquit
themselves of the greatest defect by which a man
can be disgraced. The friends who incur the
guilt of ingratitude endeavour to degrade yOlt .
in order to justify themselves ; they deny the
sincerity of your attachment, they charge you
r 36 ,
t.. ..J
with officiousness: in a word, they employ
6eparate and contradiCtory means to throw
over your conduct, and their own, a kind
of uncertain and equivocal character, which
every man will explain as he affects. What a
multitude of painful feelings then assails the
heart of him who had indulged the fond wish
and cherished the delightful plan of living in the
affections of others, and finds himself deceived
in this illusion!
Your system of life is attacked, every suc,ces.
sive bID\\' shakes to its foundations the unity of
the whole arrangement. And he too aballdolls me,
is a painful idea which gives to the la"t tie which
is broken a value and an interest it had not till
then possessed. The public also, whose favour
had been experienced, loses all the indulgence
it had testified. It loves that success which it
anticipates, it becomes hostile to that of which
itself is the cause. What it formerly had sup-
ported by its authority it now attacks; what it
formerly had encouraged by its protection, it
now labours to destroy. This injustice, of
which opinion is guilty in a thousand ways, at
once excites agonizing sensations. This indi-
vidual who defames you with malignity, is too
unworthy for you to regret his suffrage; but
every petty detail of a great vexation, the his.
tory of which unfoldll1 to your view•. renews
[ 97 J
.Jour anguish and your suffering; though aW!'Ire
of its inevitable term, you nevertheless expe-
rience some painful emotion at every step of
,
the progress. In a word, the affections.of the
heart are withered, the gay colouring of life
fades away. Faults are contraCted, which dis-
gust us equally with ourselves and with others,
which discourage us from the prosecution of
that system of perfection with which our bosoms
once proudly swelled. Henceforth we know
IJot to what source we ought to repair, what
course we ought to pursue. Once having trust.
ed without discretion, we are disposed to suspect
without cause. Is it sensibility, is it virtne,
that is nothing but a phantol11? And does that
sublime complaint which Brutus uttered in the
fields of Philippi infer, either that we ought to
abandon that rigid morality, which we had im-
posed upon our conduct, or does it prescribe to
us self.murder?

At this fatal epoch the earth, as it were,
seems to sink under our feet. More uncertain
of the future than even when the prospecl was
dimmed by the clouds of infancy; we enter-
·tain doubts of all that we imagined we had
known, and anew begin our eXis.tence; with
this difference, that we no longer have hope as
a companion to cheer us in the jOlll'llcy. It ill
at that period of life when the circle of elljoy·
,
C38 J
ment has been explored, and the third part of
life hanEy attained, that this book is calcu'lated

to be useful. It is not fit to be read sooner;
for I myself did not begin, or even conceive
the design of this work, till 1 had reached thOlt
age. It, perhaps, maybe objeCl-ed to me
likewise, that in attempting to subdue the
passions I am labouring to extinguish the
principle ·of the most glorious of human ac-
tions, sublime discoveries, and generous sen-
timents. Althougb I am .not entirely of this
opinion: I admit that there is something
elevated in passion; that while it continues, it
adds to the superiority of man; that under its
dominion he is able to accomplish whatever
he proposes; so much is firm and ,persever·
ing will an acUve:force in the moral order of
things. Man, then, hurried away by something
more powerful than himself, wastes his life, but
employs it with greater en\!rgy. Hthe l>oul is
to be considered only as an impulse, thisim-
pulse is more ·lively when excited by ·passion.
If men destitute of.passions must be roused by
the i n t ~ r e s t of some grand spectacle, if the.gla-
diators mustmittually murder each other. before
their eyes, while they are to be nothing more
than the spectators of these shocking comhats,
it unquestionably is necessary to enfiame r.y
every possible contrivance .these unfortunate
.'
C39 J
beings whose impetuous feelings lire destiged
to animate or to desolate the theatre of the
world. But what advantage can they· derive
from this course, what general happiness can
be obtained by the encouragement thus given
to the passions of the soul r Every emotion
necessary to·sociallife, every impulse necessary
to virtue, might exist without this destructive


sprmg.
But it may be said that it is to guide, not to
conquer these passions that our efforts ought
to be direCted. For my part, I do not under-
stand how it is possible to direCt that which
only exists while it governs without controul.
Man is capable but of two states. Either he
can rely upon governing within his own breast,
and then there are no passions; or he is con. '
scious that there reigns within him a power
superior tohimself; and upon this, then, he must
be wholly dependent. All these compromises
with passion are completely imaginary. Like
real tyrants, it must either be enthroned in
power, or subdued in fetters. It never was
my intentioll, however, to devote this work to
,
the extinction of all the pl!ssions; men are im-
bued with them at their birth. Still it has
been my principal endeavour to present a
system of life which should not be wholly des.
titute of pleasurable feelings at that period when
[ 40 ]
the hopes of positive happiness in this state of
existence disappear. That system is suited
only to those whose charaCler is naturally sub.
jeCt to the influence of passion, and who have
struggled to regain the empire of themselves.
M:H"!j' of its enjoyments belong only to souls
originally ardent, and the necessity of its sa-
crifices cannot be felt but by those who have
been unhappy. Indeed, if man were not born
with passions, what should he have to fcar, what
efforts should he be called upon to exert, what
could the feelings of his mind present to occupy
the moralist, 0r fill him with apprehension for
the fate of human kind? Am I liable also to
the reproach of having failed to treat separately
of the enjoyments attached to the performance
of our duties, and the anguish inflicted by the
remorse which attends the commission of wrong,
or the guilt of having negleCted those duties to
which we stand engaged? .
These two primary ideas of our existence
apply equally to all situations, to all charaCters;
and the point which I was principally anxious
to demonstrate, is the relation which obtains
bet\\ een the passions of man and the agreeable
or painful impressions of which he is consci-
ous in his heart. In the prosecution of this
plan, I conceive, at the same time, that I have
proyed that there is no happiness without
[ 41 J
virtue. That we arrive at this conclusion by
every path we pursue, is a fresh evidence of its
truth. In the analysis of the various moral
affections of man, allusions will sometimes occur
to the revolution of France. Every remem-
brance which the mind preserves is tinged with
this terrible event. It was my wish likewise to
render this first part lIseful to the second, to
prepare, by the examination of men individually,
to enter upon the calculation of the effects of
their union in societies. I cherished the hope,
I again repeat, that by labouring to promote
the moral independence of man, we should fa.
cilitate the attainment of his political liberty;
since every restriction, which it is necessary to
impose upon this liberty, is always prescribed
bv the effervescence of some one of the human


paSSIOns.
In a word, whatever opinion may be formed
of my plan, sO much is certain, that my only
obje'ct has been to combat misery under every
appearance it may assume; to study the thoughts,
the feelings, the institutions which producl1 pain
to mankind; to investigate what are the reflec-
tions, the employments, the combinations which
are calculated to diminish in any degree the
severity of the sufferings to which the human
soul is exposed. The image of misfortune, in
whatever aspect it appears, haunts my imagin3.
[ 42 J
tiOI1 and tears my heart. Alas! I myself have
ex perienccd so bitterly what it is to be mise-
T:l!Jle, that a susceptibi!ity inexpressihly tender,
a disquietude mingled \\'ith sorrow, steal upon
my heart, at the idea of the sufferings which
:1:1} fellow creature endures I am penetrated
w;th sympathetic emotions at the prospeCl of
those inevitable vexations, of the \vhich
spri:1g from t),e imagination, the disappoint-
n.ents which the just man'undergoes, and even
the remorse \\ hich the guilty suffers; at the
.
,jeW of those wounds of the heart, of all griefs
the I1Wst poignant, and those bitter regrets
which we blush to own without ceasing less
aClltely to feel. In a word, I am penetrated with
sorrow at the prospeCt of those evils which draw
forth the tears of anguish, those tears which the
ancit":lts colleCted in a consecrated urn-Such
v:as the veneration with which they viewed the
august speCtacle of human sorrow. Alas! It is
not enough to have sworn, that within the limits
which bound our existence, whatever injustice,
whatever injury, we may be doomed to suffer,
w/' should never voluntarily occasion a painful
sensation to any human being: we
,
should never voluntarily forego the possibility
of solacing a single woe. We ought also to try
'whether any shadow of talent, whether any
po\\cr of meditation we posscss
J
may not-con·

[ 13 J
tribute to the discovery (If that language with
which melancholy gently agitates the soul;
whether we not assist to discover that
philo,ophic height \\ hich is beyond the reach
of the weapons which annoy. In a word, if
time and study ran unfold any doClrine, hy
which we may be enabled to demonstrate polio
tical principles \\ith that evidence \\hich in
future will reSCUe them from being the subject
of two religions, and, consequently, of the most
sang Ilinary of all furies; it should seem that
the world would be then furnished with a com-
pletc exampIe of all those moral shields \\ hich
protect the fate of man from the dominion of

[ 45 J
OF THE P A S S I O N S ~
- - - - ~ ~ - - - - -
SECTION THE FIRST.
CHAP. I.
=
OF THE lOVE OF GLORY.
OFall the passions of which the human heart
is susceptible, there is none which possesses so
striking a charaC1:er as the Love of Glory.
The traces of its operations may be discovered
in the primitive nature of man, but it is only
in the midst of society that this sentiment ac-
quires its true force. In order to deserve the
name of passion, it must absorb all the other
affections of the sOlll; and its pleasures, as well
as its pains, result only from the entire deve-
lopement of its power.
According to that sublimity of virtue which
seeks in our own conscience for the motive and
the end of condllC1:, the love of glory is the most
exalted principle which can actuate the soul.
I leave to the signification of this word all its

( 46 J
proper greatness, by preserving its connexion
with the real value of the aAions which it ought
to inspire. Indeed true glory cannot be ob.
tained by a relative celebrity. We always
summon the universe and posterity to' confirm
the title of so august a crown. It cannot be
preserved, then, but by genius, or by virtue.
'Vhen I come to treat of ambition, I shall take
an opportunity to speak of that fleeting success
which may imitate or resemble glory. At pre.
sent, it is to glory itself, that is, to that which
is truly just·and great, that I intend at present
to direCt my enquiries; and,in order to determine
its influonce upon happiness, I shall not hesitate
to disp!ay it in all the seducing brilliancy of its
charms.

The honourable and sincere friend of glory
p r o p o ~ e s a magnanimous treaty with the human
race. He thus addresses them: "I will conse·
crate my talents to your service. My ruling
passion will incessantly impel me to communi-
cate J.appiness to the greatest portion of man·
kind by the fortunate result of my efforts.
Even countries and nations unknown to me
shall have right to the fruit of my wakeftll
toils. Every thinking being possesses coml11on
relations to me; and, free from thl: contraCted
influence of individual sentiments
J
I measure
,
[ 47 J
the degree of my happiness. only by the extent
of my beneficence. As the reward of this de-
voted attachment, all I ask is, that you cele-
brate its author, that you command fame to
discharge your debt of gratitude. Virtue, I
know, constitutes its own enjoyment and reo
ward. For me, however, I require your assis-
tance, in order to obtain that reward which is
necessary to my happiness, that the glory of
my name may be united to the merit of my
actions." 'What openness, \\ hat simplicity in
this contraCt! How is it pO'>sible that nations
should never have observed it with fidelity, and
that genius alone should have fulfilled its con-
ditions?
Doubtless it is a most fascinating enjoyment,
to make the universe resound with our name,
to exist 50 far beyond. ourselves that we can
reconcile our minds to any iIIusioll, both as.to
the nature of space and the dllrathm of !ife,
and believe that we constitute some of the
metaphysical attributes of the Eternal. The
soul swells with elevated delight, by the habi-
tual consciousness that the whole attention 'of
a great number of men is directed towards
you, that you exist in tLeir hopes, that every
idea that rises in your mind may influence the
·destiny of -multitudes, that great events ripen

[ 48 J
and unfold themselves in your breast, and in
the name of the people who rely upon your
knowledge demand the most lively attention to
your own thoughts. The acclamations of the
multitude agitate the soul at once by the reo
flexions which they inspire, and by the com-
motions which they produce. All these ani·
mating forms under which glory presents itself
to our view, must transport youth with hope
and inflame it with emulation. The paths
which lead to this great end are strewed with
charms. The exertions which the ardour of
attaining it prescribes, are themselves accom-
panied with delight; and in the career of suc-
cess, sometimes the most fortunate incident:>
\\ ith \\ hich it is attended arise from the inte-
rests by which it \\as preceded, and which com·
municate an active energy to life.
The glory which results from literary perform·
ances or from great actions is subject to different
combinations: the first, borrowing from solitary
pleasures, may participate in their advantages.
But it is not this species of glory which displays
in striking colours all the sympt9ms of this
elevated passion. It does not possess that com-
manding genius, \\ hich in an instant saws and
reaps, and is crowned with the reward; whose
overpowering eloquence or whose invincible
-
C49 J
courage decides in an' instant tlte fate of ages
and of empires. It is not that emotion, all
powerful in its effeCts, which commands obedi-
ence by inspiring similar and which
comple5ses In the present moment all the en·
joyments of the future. The genius which can·
sists in aClion is exempted from the obligation
ofa\"aitin g that tardy j lIstice which Titl1e brings
in his train. It !l!aces Glory in front, to guide
its course, like the pillar of fire which formerly

enlightened the march of the Israelites The
celebrity to he obtained by literary productions
is rarely colem!Jorary; but even when this
.fortunate distinCtion is attained, as there is
nothing instantaneous in its effeCts; nothing
ardent in its splendour, the literary career
cannot
j
like aCtive glot,y, produce the complete.
display of its physical and moral force, secure
the exercise of all its faculties; and, in a word,
intoxicate by the certainty of the power with
whiCh it is endowed. In order, then, to judge
with more precision of the obstacles and the
hardships it has to encounter, we must confine
.our observation. to the highest point ofhappi.
ness which the love of glory can attain..:.i ,h
. The principal difficultJ, in ;Ill gov.ern.
ments wher.eheredltary
lished, is the combination of those circul1lstances
• •
which cQmmunicate splendour to life. The
H
[ 50 J
-efforts which are' necessary to rise from an ob.
scure situation, in order to perform a part
which we have not been called upon to under.
take, offend the majority of men. Those who,
by their ~ a n k , are placed within reach of the
-most di:;tinguished offices, conceive it a mark
-of contempt to themselves, when they see a man
indulge the hope of crossing the boundary
which separates him from those distinctions,
and attaining by his talents the highest eleva.
tion to which their destiny can aspire. Those
,if the ~ a m e class with the adventurer, those
who have resigned themselves cO their lot, and
attributing this determination to tt.eir wisdom;
not to the mediocrity of their abilities, stigma.
tize;;n opposite conduct as absurd, and with-
out allowing for the diversity of talents, COil·
ceive themselves equally qualified to act in the

same circumstances.
In monarchies of an aristocratical consti·
tution, the multitude, from the spirit of domi·
:nation, sometimes delight to advance the man
.w.h,om chance has abandoned. The sallie spi.
rit, however, forbids them to renounce their
right over that existence which they have
-created. The people, consider this existenclt
, ~ s the work of their own hands; and unless
fate, superstition, magic, ill a word, some power
independent of men, does not guide the fortune

[ 51 J
of him who in a monarchical government owes
his elevation to the opinion of the people, he
will not long preserve a glory which is at once
created and rewarded by the public suffrage,
which derives from the same source its existence
and its celebrity, The people will not main-
tain their own work, nor will yield submission:
to a t10rce of which they feel themselves the chief
support. Those who, in such an order of things,
are born in the privileged class, in some re-
spects have many useful a d v a n t a g ~ s connected
with their situation.
But, in the first place, the chance of ta-
lents is narwwed, both in proportion to
the number, and still more, that species
of negligence which certain advantages in-
spire. But when genius· elevates the man
whom the ranks of monarchy had previously
separated from the rest of his fellow citizens,
independently of the obstacles common to all,
there are some which are personal to his situa.
tion. Rivals among that limited number to
which yOll belong, those wLv consider them-
selves in many respects your equals, press close,
more close around you; and, should you be in-
clined to remove them to a distance, nothing
is more difficult than to know to what degree
we ought to cultivate the desire of popularity
while we enjoy unpopular distinCtions. It is
almost inlpossible always to know with eel'·
tainty the degree of deference \\ e ought to show
for the general opinion. That opinion, certaill
of its unlimited pov,er, and conscious of it, in.
spires modesty, and it demands respect without
flattery. It is plea::;ed with gratitude, but is
disgusted with servility; cloyed with the pos-
session of soyereign power, it loves that proud
and independent character, v.hich for a mo.
ment seems to dispute its authority only to
rEnew the enjoyment which it affords. These
general difficulties .tie felt with double severity
by nobleman whlJ, under a monarchical
government, is desirous to acquire true glory.
If he disdains he is hated. A pIe.
beian, in a democratic state, mv obtain adnlira-

tion by braving popularity. But if a nobleman
pursue a similar course in a monarchical state,
instead of acquiring the reputation of courage,
he \1 ill only incur the imputation of pride.
after all, in order to avoid this reproach, he
cultivates popul3rity, he will incessantly be
liab:e to incur either suspicion or ridicule.
1\len al e n"t pleased to see personal interest
\\holly abaudnned; and that which, when it
rises to a certain ht-ight, is contrary to their
nature, is treated with contempt.
Of all the advantages we possess, life alone
call be sacrificed with renown. The renllncia·
[ 53 J
tion of others, although much mOI:e rare and
more estilpab!e, is represented as a kind of cheat;
and although it infers a much higher degree of
devotion when if is called a cheat, it no longer
excites the enthusiasm of those who ::re the ob-
jeCts of the sacrifice. The nobles placed
between the nation and the mon:tfch, between
their political existence and their general in.
terest, with difficulty obtain glory in any other

situation but that of the army. The most of
the considerations which have been mentioned
do not apply to military success. or the attri.
butes of his nature, war leaves to I\lan only his
physical faculties. While this state continues,
he surrenders to the illl ptlbe of th:lt
valour, that enterprize. that talent which secures
viCtory, in the sallle manner as weak bodies
follow the attraction of the greater. The moral

being confers no superiority in the immediate
confllel: of battle; and for this reason, soldiers
display more constancy in their attachment
to their generals than citizens in their gratitude
to their rulers.
In republics. if they are founded upon the
basis of aristocracy alone, all the members who
(lol1lpose one class form an ob,tacle to the glory
of each individual. That spirit of moderation
which Montesquieu has so jllst:y assigned as the

principle of aristocratic republics, represses the
soaring flight of genius. A great man, actuat-
ed by the desire of displaying his superiority,
would give a precipitate impulse to the
and uniform movement of these governments.
As utility, likewise, is the principle of admira.
tion in a state where great talents cannot find
scope for their exertion in a manner that would
conduce to the advantage of all; they have no
opportunity to unfold themselves, they are ex-
tinguished, or they are confined within certain
limits which never permit them to attain cele.
brity. Strangers never hear of a name of pecu.
liar distinCtion which the government of Venice
has produced, or which rises to eminence in the
wise a'Jd paternal govenment of the republic of
Berne. The same spirit has for several ages
continued to guide a variety of different indi-
viduals; and \\ere a man to impress upon the
government his own particular charaCter, violent
concussions would necessarily result frol11 a
constitution. the uniformity of which at
secures its tranquillity. and constitutes it&
strength.
'v"ith regard to popular republics, it is ne.
to distinguish two epochs in their exis.
tence, which are completely different; that
wblch preceded the art of printing, and
'[ 55 ]
which is cotemporary with the'greatest possible
extension of the liberty of the press. That
which has preceded the art of printing must be
favourable to the ascendancy or one man, know.
ledge not being then generally diffused. He
who was endowed with superior talents, a vi.
gorous understanding, possessed great advan-
tages for acting upon the minds of the multi·
tude. The secret of causes was then unknown;
investigation had not yet changed into positive
knowledge the magic of all their effects. Ac·
cordingly men were liable to be struck with
.r.stonishment" and, of consequence, were easily
led. They believed that one individual among
them was necessary to the whole body. Hence
arose the formidable dangers to which liberty
was exposed; hence the never-ceasing factions
by which states were distracted; for wars of
opinion finish with the events which decide
them, and with the discussions by which they
are explained; but the power of superior men
is renewed with every generation, and desolates
or sUbjects the nation which resigns itself with.
out controul to this enthusiasm.
When the liberty of the press, however) and
whaN.s stillmore, the multiplicity of newspapers)
every day makes public the ideas which havecir.
<:ul;/,ted the preceding day,it is almost impu,sible
C.56 J
tllere tan exist, in SllCh a country, what is called

glory There may be esteehl; .for esteem does
not destroy equality j he, who extends it to
another, acts upon instead of re-
signing its exercise. But an enthusiastic at.
tachment to men is bl'.nished. There are de.
fects in charaElers, which, formerly, were dis·

covered either by the light of history, or by
a sn all numher of coterilporary philosophers,
whom the general opinion had not misled. In
the state of the world, however, he who
endeavours to distinguish himself is at vari·
ance with the self· love of others: every step
wLich raises him above the level kiildics the
wish to bring him do\\'n from his. eminence.
TI'e mass of enlightened n:en assume a kind
of active pride which destroys the Sllccess. of
individuals If we wish to investigate the
C,l\;ses of tl-e great ascendant which superior
genius obtained at Athens and Rome, of the
a] most brnd empire \\ hieh in ancient times
it exercised over the multitur.e, it \\ill be
seen that opinion was never fixed ,by means of
O?ill ion itself; that it was always owing to
sOllietbing different from itself, to the sup-
port o( wperstition, that its permanence
\\a, ensured. Kings have been known, \\ ho,
to the end of their days, preserved the glory
\\ l,ieh they had acquired. But the people then
beiieved that royalty was of divine origin,
Sometimes we find Numa inventing a fa Lie,
in order to secure the acceptance 0
1
those LlWS
whirh wisdom had dictated, relying more upon
credulity than upon the intrinsic merit of his
code. The most renowned Roman generals,
when they intended to fight a battle, declared,
that the observatiun of the flight of birds com·
pelled them to engage. It was in this manner
that the great men of antiquity concealed the •
ditiates of their genius under the appearance of
superstition, avoiding that conduct which would
have led men to judge, although they knew that
they were right. In a word, every discovery
which knowledge has produced, by enriching
the mass, diminishes the empire of the indivi-
dual. Human kind is the heir of genius, and
the truly great men are those who have reno
dered such superior beings as themselves les9
nrcessary to future generations. The more
the mind is allowed to expatiate in the future
career of possi ble perfeeti bility, the more we
see the advantages of understanding surpassed
by positive and the spring of virtue
more powerful than the passion of glory. It
will not, perhaps, yet be found that the present
age aHards the idea of such a progress; but we
Illllst sec in the aCtual etiect the future cause.
in order to judge completely of an event. He
I
[ 58 J
who, in the mines where metals are concoCted,
sees only the devouring fire which seems to
consume every thing, is unacquainted with the
course of nature; and cannot paint to his fancy
the future but by multiplying the present.
In whatever light, however, these refiel . ons
may be considered, I return to the gLileral
considerations upon the obstacles and the mis·
fortunes connected with the passion for glory.
which are applicable to aU times and to aU
countries.
When the difficulties of the first steps are
surmounted, two parties immediately form, re.
speEting the reputation of the individual con·
cerned; not that there are different modes of
judging of the same conduCt, but because am.
bition connects itself with one side or the other.
He who is inclined to become the adversary of
great success, remains passive as long as its
brilliancy remains undiminished. During the
same period it is that friends are most indefati.
gable in favour of him who has gained distinc·
tion. They are fatigued with their previous
exertions, when the moment of misfortune ar.
rives; at a time when the principle of novelty
alone is sufficient to weary the public with the
uniform repetition of the same panegyrics.
Enemies enter the lists with fresh arms, while
[ 59 J
friends have blunted theirs, by making a vain
parade of them round the triumphal car•
.
It may be asked, why is friendship lesi
persevering than animosity? The reason is,
that the one may be abandoned in a great
variety of modes; while, in the other, suc.
cess alone can remove the danger and the
shame which would result from giving up
the objeCt. Friends can so easily attribute to
the goodness of their own hearts the excess of
their enthusiasm, and ascribe to the neglect of
their advice the last misfortunes which their
friend has sustained; there are so many ways
in which a man can take credit for abandoning
a friend, that the slightest difficulties are suffi·
cient to determine a man to pursue that course.
But hatred, on the other hand, from the first
step which it takes, engaged without the possi.
bility of retreat, is resolved to employ all the
resources of desperate situations; those situa·
tions from which nations as well as individuals
almost always escape j because, then, even the
coward sees no salvation but in the exercise of
his courage.
III reviewing with attention the very small
nlllllber of ex.ceptions to the inconstanry of

public favour, we are astonished to find, that
it is to circumstances, and never to ability, that

r 60 ]
they nre to be ascribed. The fee1'ng of a pre.
sent c,mger may have compelled the people to
deLly tLeir inJu<.tire; a premature death has
somdin,es preceded the moment of its execu-
tion,; OiJt the :lggregate of observation which
c0115titutes the code of experience, proves that
t::e Lie of man, so short in itseif, is still of
10:1,zer duration thun the and the
Of his cotemporarics. The great
man, \', ho attains the period of old age, must
ll'any epochs of various or contradic-
ton oPinions. These oscillatiolls cease with
- .
the by \\ hich they \\ere produced. Still
\\e li .... e i:l the midst of them, and their COOClIS-
\'.):ich can ha\'e no infll:ence on the jlldg.
mCJl t of posterity, destroys that r-rcsent happi-
ness \', hich is immediately within our reach. The
e\"ents of cbance, those which noneof the po\\ers
of thought can controlll, are, nevertheless, can·

sidered by public opinion as \\ithin the direc·
tion of genius. Admiration is a kind of fana-
ticism which expects miracles. It \\ill not call.
:ient to allow the man, on whom it fixes, a place
inferior tu others, it will not renounce the exer·
of its ll:1derstanding, to believe and obey him,
but, by ascribing to him something supernatural
which cannot he cOp',pared to human faculties.
In order to guard against such an error, it is
for us to be mouest and just, to re-
[ 61 J
cognise at once the limits f)f ['"cnius, a'1'1 its suo
periority over ourselves. But when it becomes
necessary to rea,on upon reverses, to explain
them by describing obstacles, to excuse them
by pleading lllisfortuues, enthusiasm is vanl&h-
ed. Like the illJagination, it must be struck
with external objeCts, and success is the pa-
geantry of genius. The public delight to heap
favours upon him who already POSSCbSCS abun-
dance. As the Sultan of Arabia, dreading the
contagion of fatality, abandoned his friend,
when persecuted by calamily; so reverse of for-
tune drives away the ambItious, the weak, the
indifferent: in a word, all who, with whatever
justice. imagine that the splendour of glory
ought to strike unconsciollsly, that it ought to
command the tribute it requires; that glory is
the joint produCtion of the gifts of nature and
afchance, and as admiration is not th3t which
every man feels as a necessity, he who is desi-
rous of exciting that sentiment, must obtain it
from surprise, not from refleCtion, and must
owe it to tllC efleets which talents produce.
much more than to their real value.
If the reverses of fortune dissolve the charm
of enthusiasm, what mllst be the consequence.
if to this be added the defeCts which are often
found combined with the most eminent quali.
[ 62 J
ties? What a vast field for the prying curiosity
of little minds! How they plume t h e m s e l v e ~
upon having foreseen what yet they hardly
comprehend! How much more advantageous
would have been the measures which they recom·
mended! \V hat illumination they derive from
the event! How many satisfaCtory recolleCtions
they enJoy in criticising the conduCt of another!
As none view them with any attention, nobody
thinks them worthy of attack. Yet who could
believe it? they consider this silence as tht
proof of their superiority; because a pattie has
been lost, they consider themselves as the vic-
tors, and the disasters of a great man are con-
verted into palms to adorn fools. And is it
really possible? Can opinion be formed of
sufrJ:ages like these? Yes, cotemporary glory
is submitted to their decision, for it is charac-
terised by the enthusiasm of the multitude.
Real merit is independent of every thing; but
the reputation acquired by that merit obtains
the name of glory only by the noise of the accla.
mations of the multitude. If the Romans were
insensible to the eloquence of Cicero, his 5enills
remains to us; but w'here, during his life, will
you find his glory? The merit of geometricians
being only \\ ithin the capacity of their equals
to judge, they obtain from a small number of
learned men incontestible titles to the admirJ.
• •


C63 ]
tion of their cotemporaries. The glory of ac-
tions, however, must be popular. Soldiers judge
of the merit of their general, the nation of its
minister. Whoever requires the sum'age of
others, has at once placed his life in the power
of calculation and of chance; to such a dpgree,
that the labQurs of calculation cannot secure
him from the accidents of chance, and the ac·
cidents of chance cannot exempt him from the
pains of calculation.
But no, may it be said, the sentence of the
multitude is impartial, since it is infi uellced by
no personal, no env.ious paision ; its j III pulse,
therefore, must be just. For this very reason,
however, that its movements are natural and
spontaneous, they belong to the imagination;
a weakness, in their estimation, obscures the
splendour of a virtue; a S lIspicion is sufficient
to throw them under the dominion of terror;
extravagant promises are preferred to prudent
services; the complaints of one individual aRea
them more powerfully than the silent gr3titude
of the great majority. They are fickle, because-
they are the creatures of passion: quick to feel
the emotions of passion, because men assembled
in bodies communicate \I ith each other only' by
meaU3 ofthh electricity, and contribute nothing
to the common stock but their sentiments. It
is not the wisdom of an;, individual, but the
general impulse of the whole, which leads to
action, and this impulse is communicated by
the most fanatical of the whole. One idea may
be compounded of various refleCtions; a senti·
springs perfeCt and entire from the soul
in which it is felt. The only opinion which the
multitude by whom it is adopted displays, is the
injustice of one man exerci!:>ed by the audacity
of all, that audacity which springs from the
consciousness of strength, and the impossi bility
of being suLjeCted to any kind of personal reo
,
The speCtacle which France has exhibited
renders these observations more striking. But
in every age, the Illan \\' ho is fond of glory
has been subjeCted to the democratical yoke.
It \\<:5 from the nation alone that he receiv.
ed his powers j it was by his eleClion that he
received his crown; and whatever might be
his right to wear it, when the people withdrew
their suffrages from the man of genius, he might
protest, but he reigned no longer. No matter!
may some ardent spirits exclaim, "Did there
exist but one chance of success against a thOll.
sand probabilities of disappointment, it were
better to attempt a career which loses itself in
the skies, and which gives to man, \\ hen he
has to live, all that human memory can
rC5ct:e from the past I'J One day of glury is s@
[05 J
multiplied by our imagination, that it may be
sufficient for a whole life. The most noLle of
all duties are performed as we traverse the path
which leads to glory, and the human race would
have remained without benefaCtors if this sub.
lime emulation had not encouraged their efforts!
In early times, I am persuaded that the love
of fame performed less benefit to mankind than
the simple ill1pulse of obscure virtues: 0 per-
tievering researches. T he greatest discoveries
have been made in the retirement of the man
of letters; and the most illustrious aCtions, dic.
tated by the spontaneous emotions of tne soul,
are often to be found in the history of a life that
has continued unknown to fame. It is, there-
fore, only in its relation to him by \\ hom rt is
felt. that the passion for glory ought to be con.
sidered. By a kind of metaphysical aLstrac.
tion, it is often said that glory is better than
happiness. This assertion, however, can only
be understood by the help of the accessary
ideas which are conneCted with it. In this
view, the enjoyments of private life are placed
in opposition to the splendour of an elevated
existence. But to give to any thing the pre.
ference over ha ppiness would he an absolute
solecism in morals. The virtllous man makes
great sacrifices only to avoid the pain of rc-
K

[ 66 ]
..-norse, and to secure to himself the internal
rel\ ard at' hi!:> own com.cience. In a word, the
fclici:y of m;m is more necessary to him than
life; since he \\ill commit suicide, to escape
from misery. ..'is it is true, then. that to speak

l'; ehu,i,.; I'. rctchedness is an \\ hich
ill ibelf illlp1iC:; a cOl1tradiclion, the pa!:>sion of
glOl y, like ewry other [rcling, must be Jl1dgcd
hy its influence upon happiness.
Lovers, evel1 ambitious men, may at sOllle
moments roneei\'e th3t they have attained th;;
bummit or felicity. the term of their hopes
is known, they ollght to be happy, at least, at
the \\ Le;i it is c:ttained. But even this
cnj": ment can never bel0!1g to the
n;;m \\hD aims at glory.' Its limits are fixed by
no feel:ng, by 110 circuli.stanee. Alexander,
af:er b\'ing conql1ered the \\ orld, \\ cpt because
iie' could not extend evell to the stars the splen-
,;uur of his name. This passion lives only ill
f:c i\:ture; it possesses only in hope; and if
it 11,;s freql:ently veen adduced as one of the
strc:J2'cst proofs of the immortality of the soul,
it is because it seems to aspire to reign over the
j;,fia:ty of space and the eternity of time. It'
g:ory ;5 :l ll,Oll1el1t stationary, it falls baek in
the O!);;l;nn of men, and ('ven in the estimation
ul' hill] to whom it LC>Jngs. The possession 0\'
[ 67 ]
it so f'lrcibly 3gitates the soul, to such a.dt'gree
cnflames all ib faculties, that a 1l10!Jwn t's calm
in external objeCts serves only to dired lipan
himself all the aElivity of his mind. Repose is
so distant, the void is so near, that the cessa·
tion of aElion is even the greatest misfortune
to be apprehended. As the pleasures of glory
never contain any thing satisfaCtory, the mind
is filled only with their expectation; and those
whir.h it obtains, serve only to bring it nearer
to those which it desires. If the height of
greatness were even attained, an accidental cir·
cUIllstance, the rel'usal of a mark of respect
even from the obscure, is sufficient to excite
vexation and envy. Haman, the conqueror of
the Jews, was miserable because he was unable
to bend the stubborn pride of ?\fOl"decai. This
conquering passion esteems only that by which
it is resisted. It requires that admiration which
is refused, as the only species superior to that
which it has received. The Whole power of
il1lagination is displayed in it, hecause no feel.
ing of the heart serves at intervals to carry it
back to reality. 'When it has attained its ob-

jeEl, its torments multiply, because its greatest
charm, consisting in that aCtivity which it
rrejllires every moment, (me of its principles,
is overthrown when this activity is 110 longer
I'll, p!(l)'rd.
[ 68 ]
All the passions, no doubt, have common
cbarD-fters, but none of them leaves so much
pain behind it as the of
glory. To man there is nothing absolute in
nature, be judges only from comparison. Even
physical pain is subJeCl to this law. Whatever
then is most violent, either in pleasure or in
pain, is occasioned by contrast. '\That con-
trast, however, can be more terrible than the
posse3sion or the loss of glory! He whose
Ltme once pcrnded the whole world sees no-
tl;ing around him but a waste oblivion. A
Jowr sheds no tears but to the memory of
\\ hat he has lost. But the whole conduCt of
men, to him who once drew the attention of
the universe, displays only ingratitude and
<T' Q.
net>lec"
The passion of glory swells the feelings and
the understanding beyond their natural strength.
Far, however, from affording pleasure, the reo
turn to the natural state of the mind is a sen-
sation of debasement and death. The enjoy.
ments of common life have been witnessed
without being felt, and they can no more be
found in remembrance. It is not by reason
or by melancholy that we are brought back to
them, but by necessityJ that fatal power which


,

·




,
I

[ 69 J
breaks whatever it bends! One of the charac-
teristics of this protraCted misery is, that we
end with self-reproach. So long as we view
only the reproaches which others deserve, the
soul may expatiate beyond itself. Repentance,
however, concentrates every thought; and in
this kind of pain the volcano closes, only to
consume within. The life of a celebrated man
consists of so many aCtions, that it is impossible
for him to have so l1luch strength of philo-
sophy, or so milch force of pride, as to ex-
empt his own understanding from the reproach
of every error. Th€' part in his minc1 aswm-
ing the place which the future occupies, his
imagination is broken against that firm set-
time, and leads him in retrospect through
wilds as dreary as the happy fields, which
hope once painted to his wiew, were de.
lightful.
The man once covered with glory, who de.
sires to renounce the memory of what he
has been, and to attach himself to private
life, can neither accustom himself 1101'
others to consider him in his new situatiun.
Simple ideas are not to be enjoyed uy eiIlJrt.
In order to taste the happiness they are calcu-
lated to afford, a combination of circumstances,
which banishes every other desire, h necessary.
[ 70 J
.Man, accustomed to aCtions which history wiii
record, can no longer be interested by an ordi·
nary life. He no longer displays those elllo.

tions by which his charaCter was formerly dis·
tinguished, he no longer relishes existence, but
resigns himself to it. The sorrows of the heart
long continue the objeCt of confidential com.
munication, because to cherish t hem is honour.
able, as they are conneCted with too many as.
sociations in the mind of ot:lers, to allow them
to be considered i" as mere per.
sonal topics. as philosophy and pride
to overcome or to conceal the regret
occasioned even by the most noble ambition,
the man \\ ho feels it never can sulier himself
to confess it in its fullest extent. Constant at·
tention to our own feelings is a series of enjoy-
ment during prosperity; but a habitual source
of pain to him who again has Slink to a private
station. In a word, LOVE, that blessing, whose
celestial nature alone prevents it from uniting
with the whole of human destiny-Love is no
longer a blessing that can be enjoyed by him
,\ ho has long been governed by the passion for
glory. It is not that his sOlll has become cal·
lous; but it is too vast to be filled by a single
objeCt. Besides, the reflexions we are led to
make upon men in general, when they arc con-
nected with us by public relations, render im•

-
.
I
\
C71 J
possible that kind of illusion which is neces-
sary to sec an individual at an infinite distance
from all others. Great losses, too far from
binding men more closely to the advantages
thev still have left, at Ol1ce loosen all ties of
-
attachment. We can only sustain the nlind ill
that kind of independence which excludes all
comparison between the present and the past.
The genius \\ ho can adore and possess glory,
rejects every thing which could supersede the
feeling even of his regret. He prefers death to
self-degradation. In a word, although this
passion be pure in its origin, and generous in
its exertion, guilt alone deranges, in a greater
degree than the love of glory, the equilibrium
of the soul: it hurries it with impetuous vio-
lence out of the natural order, to which by no
efforts can it afterwards be restored.
\\'hile 1 have thus laboured, with a kind of
JlIsterity, to display every consideration which
call deter from the love of glory, I have been
obliged to employ a great effort of reHecrion.
So lllallY names presented them-
selves to my mind, that enthusiasm alillost over·
powered me; so many glorious shades seemed
to complain that their renown \\as contenll1cd,
while the sonrce of their happiness was thus
unveiled: above all, in describing tlre dillcrcllt
J 7 ~ J
stages of the brilliant career of glory, I feared
most that I might sketch out the portrait of my
father,';: the man who, of all the characters of
t h ~ present time, has reaped the greatest portion
of glory, and to whom the impartial justice of
ages will confirm the posse5sion in its greatest
extent. But it is not to that man who bas dis-
played for the chief object of his affections a
sensibility as extraordinary as his genius; it is
not to him that the traits which my piCture ex-
hibits can apply. Were I even to avail myself
of the knowledge of his charaCter which my
memory might supply, it would be to show
what important changes the love of virtue can
cfleet upon the nature and the misfortunes
which belong to the passion for glory.
But, pursuing the plan which I have adopted,
it is not my wish to divert the man of genius
from diffusing his benefits over the human race.
I should wish, howcYer, to separate from the
mrtives, by \\ hich. he is animated, the desire of
the rc\\ ards which cotemporary opinion bestows.
I should \\ ish to lop a\\ay that which is of the
very t ssence of the passiol1s,-subjectiol1 to the
PO\\ e1' of otl.ers•
.. The celebrated M. Neckar.
C73 ]
-
CHAP. II.
. - - . - -
OF AMBITION.
IN speaking of the love of glory, I have con-
sidered it only in its most perfect in
that character when it springs from real talents,
and aspires only to the splendour of fame. By
ambition, I understand that passion which has
only powerfor its object, that is to say, the pos-
session of places, of riches, or of honours, which
may conduce to its attainment: a passion
which mediocrity may likewise indulge, because
ordinary talents may obtain the success with
which it is attended.
The pains attached to this passion are of a
different kind from those which helong to the
love of glory. Its horizon being more can.
tracted and its object being positive, all the suf.
ferings which result from that expansion of
soul beyond the proportion which befits the
lot of humanity, are Eat experienced by the
ambitious. A quick feeling for mankind, to
them, forms no subjeCt of disquietude. The
SUffrage of strangel's does not en flame their de.
sires. Power, that is to say, the right of can·
L
-
( 74 ]
trou!ing the external expressions of men's
thoughts, and the desire of receiving the in-
cense of praise wherever its authority extends,
constitute the objefts which ambitIon obtains.
It in many respects forms a contrast to the
love of glory. In comparing them together,
then, 1 shall naturally be led to furnish some
new illustration 0; the chapter which I have just
finished.
In ambition, every thing, which its career
comprehends, is previously fixed and ascer-
tained. Its pleasures and its pains are subjeCted
to determinate events. The imagination has
little S\\uy over the ambitious, for nothing is
more real tban the advantages of power. The
pains then which ari'e from an overheated fancy
are unknown to the ambitious. But if the
wanderings of imagination open a vast field for
sorro\\', they also present a wide sphere, in
which \\ e can elevate ourselves above every
thing that surrounds us, pass the con fines of
life, and lose ourselves in futurity. In ambi·
tion, on the contrary, every thing is present,
every thing is positive. Nothing is to be seen
beyond the boundary to which it extends, no.
thing remains after it has sustained disap-
pointment; and it is by this inflexibility of
calculation and this oblivion of the past, that
[ 75 J
its advantages and its losses ought to be esti.
mated.
To obtain and to preserve power is the whole
aim of the ambitious man. He never can aban·
don any of its diCtates, for nature seldom
proves a good guide in the career of politics.
By a very cruel contrast, likewise, this passion,
sufficiently violent to overcome every obstacle,
renders necessary that contillual reserve which
self restraint imposes. It must act with equal
force to stimulate and to check. The love of
glory may give scope to its feelings. The reo
sentment, the enthusiasm of a hero, have some·
times assisted his genius; and \ ~ h e n his feelings
were honourable, they have conduced to his
service. But ambition has only one object.
He who values power at so high a price is in-
sensible to every other kind of distinction. This
dispOSition supposes a species of contempt fol'
the human race, a contracted selOshness which
shuts the soul to other enjoyments. The fire
of this passion renders the soul cold and callous;
it is morOse and sullen, like all tilOse feelings
which are consigned to secrecy hy the judgment
which we ourselves form of their nature, and
which are I,llways experiencEd with much
greater violence than their external expres.
sions announce. The ambitious man, doubt.
less, when he has attained his object, no longer
[ i6 J
is agitated by that restless desire which remains
after the triumphs of glory. His objeCt is pro-
portioned to his wishes; and as, when it lost, he
feels no personal resources in the possession of
its fa\'ours, in the actual possession he is con·
scious of no void. The objeCt of ambition, too,
is certainly more easy to be attained than that of
glory; and as the fate of the ambitious man
depends upon a smaller number of individuals
than that of the character that cultivates re·
in this respect he is less It is
of much greater importance, however, to divert
men from the pursuit of ambition than from
the love of glory. The latter sentiment is al.
most as rare as genius, and it is almost never
separated from tllose great talents by which it

is excused. It seems, indeed, as if Providence,
in its goodness, had intended that such a pas-
sion should never be combined with the im·
possibility of its gratification, least the soul
might be corroded with the torture of unsatis-
fied desire. Ambition, on the contrary, is
within the reach of the talents of the majority
of men, and superiority would be more inclined
than mediocrity toshun the prosecution of its ob.
jects. There is, besides, a kind of philosophical
refleCtion which may have some influence even
lIpan those who are captivated with the advan-
tages of ambii.ion; it is, that power is the nlost

[ 77 J
inauspiciolls of all the relations by which we
can be conneCted with a great number of men.
The perfect knowledge of men must lead us
either to throw off their yoh, or to rule them
by our authority. ' \\' hat they expeel, what
they hope from you, throws a veil over' their
defects, and prompts them to display all their
good qualities. Those \\ ho are desirous to pro-
fit Ly your assistance, arc so ingeniously amia-
ble, their displays of attachment arc so \'aricd,
their praises so readily assume the air of inde-
pendence, their emotion· is so live]y, that,
jn declaring they are attached to you, they
{'CJually impose upon themselves and ujJonyou.
The influence of hope so richly em beJIishes
every character, that it is necessary to possess a
great share of penetration of mind and pride
of soul, to distinguish and to repress the senti-
ments which your own power inspires. IfYOll
\\ ish, then, to !o\'e men, form your opinion of
them at the moment when they require your
assistance; but this illusion of an instant is
purchased by a whole life.
The pains which are connecteo with the pur-
suit of ambition begin with its first steps, and
the term to \\ hich it leads affords more un mix-
ed enjoyment than the path which you Illl!5t


,
[ 78 ]
traverse. If a man of narrow understanding
endeavours to attain an elevated station, can
there be conceived a more painful situation than
,
that \\ hich arises from the incessant hints which
interest gives to self-love? In H.e ordinary
scenes of life, we impose upon oLrselves as to
the degree of our own merit: but an active
-
principle discovers to the ambitious man the
extent of his talents, and his passion opens his
eves to his own defeCts, not as reason to deter

from the attempt, but in the shape of desire,
fearful of its success. Then he is employed
chiefly in deceiving others, and in order to suc·
ceed in this ohjeCt, he must never lose sight of
himself. To forget, for a moment, the part
which it is r.ecessary to 8U prort, \\ auld be fatal:
he must arrange with skill the knowledge he
possesses, and digest his tho.:ghts with art, that
every thing which he says may be considered,
only as hinting what his discretion conceals.
He mllst employable ar,ents to second his views,
without betraying his defeCts, and attach him-
self to superiors, full of ignorance and vanity,
whose judgment may be blinded by praise.
He ought to impose upon those who are depen-
dent upon him by the reserve which he main·
tains; and deceive, by his pretension to talent,
those from \\ hom he hopes for assistance. In
a word, he must constantly avoid every trial by
[ 79 J
which his true value might be ascertained.
Thus, harrassed like a criminal who dreads the
discovery of his guilt, he knows that a pene-
trating mind can detect the starched ignorance,
in the reserve of gravity; and rliscover, in the
enthusiasm of flattery, the affected animation.
of a frigid heart. The efforts of an ambitious
Ulan are constantly employed to display and
to preserve the laboured manner of superior
talent. He at once experiences the uneasiness
which arises from the trouble he mllst under-
go, and from the consc;ousness ot' his own
humiliation. In order to attain his object,
therefore, his attention mu,t constantly be
turned to the recolleCtion of his OWn contraCted
abilities.
If you suppose, on the contrary, that the
ambitious man possesses a :iuperior genius, an
energetic soul, his passion demands success.
He must repress, he must curb every feeling
which could raise any obstacle to. his desire.
He must not even be deterred by the wounds
of remorse which attend the performance of
aNions at which conscience revolts; but the
constraint which r-resent circulllstances require,
is a source of real pain. The dictates of ollr
own sentiments cannot be outraged with im-
punity. He whose ambition prompts him to
[ 80 ]
support in the tribune an opinion which his
pride disdains, which his humanity condemns,
which the justice of his mind rejeCts, experi.
ences a painful feeling, independent even of the
refleCtion by which he may be censured or
absolved. He sustains his own good opinion,
perhaps, by the hope that he shall be able to
disccver his true sentiments when he has attained
his object. But if he suffers shipwreck before
he gains the haven, if he is banished, when,
like Brutus, he counterfeits the madman, vainly
,,'ould he attempt to explain what were his in-
tentions and his hope.,. ACtions are always
n;o;'e prominent than commentaries, and what
is said upon the theatre is never effaced by
\\ lut is written in retirement. It is in the can-
fliEl: of their interests, not in the silence of their
passions, that, we believe wc penetratc into the
real opinions of men. \Vhat then can be a
gre3ter calamity than to have acquired a repu-
tation which our true charaCter contraditts !
The man who views himself in the same
light which public opinion has sanaioned, who
preserves in his own b r ~ a s t all the dignified
sentiments which accuse his conduct, who can
hardly suppress his real character in the intoxi.
cation of success, must be placed in the most
painful situation in the moment of calamity.

[ 81 J
It is from an intimate acquaintance with the
traces which ambition leaves in the heart after
it experiences reverse, and the impossibility of
fixing its prosperity, that we are enabled to
judge of the extent of the horror which it must
• •
lIlSplre.
We have only to open the book of history, to
disoover the difficulty of preserving the success
\thich ambition attains. The mujority of pri-
vate intrrrsts is hostile to its permanence. Men
join in demanding a new lottery, as they are
dissatisfied with the tickets which they have
drawn. The success of the ambitious man, too,
is opposed by chance, which moves in a very
regular course, when it is calculated within a
certain space, and in a very extended applica.
tion. Chance in this view con tains nearly an
equal probability of success and disappoint.
ment, and seems intended to diffuse happiness
impartially among mankind. The amLitious
man is opposed by the irresistiLle propensity of
the pu blic to judge :llld to create anew, to bear
down a name too often repeated, to experience
the agitation of new sct:nes and new events. 111
a word, the multitude, composed of obscllre
men, desire to see, from time to time, the value
of private stations raised by the example oC
M
,
C82 J
signal falls, and lend an aCtive force to the abo
:;tract arguments which, extoll the peaceful ad.
o
vantages of ordinary life.
Eminent situations likewise are forfeited by

the change which they produce upon those by
"hom they are occupied. Haughtiness or sloth,
distrust or infatuation, arise from the continued
possess:on of power. This situation, in which
maceration is no less nescescary than the spirit
which prompts the acquisition. demands a COlll-
1inC!tion of qualities almost impossible; and the
soul \\bich is harrassed with fatigue, or is agi-
tated by disquietude, which yields to intoxica-
tion or to alarm, loses that energy necessary
to maintain the situation in \\hich it is placed·
Here I speak only of the real success of ambi·
tion. 1'>'1uch of it is merely apparent, and it is
with this that we ought to begin the history of
its disappointments. Some men have preserved
to the end of their life the power they had ac-
qui red; but, in order to retain it, they were
compelled to exert all the efforts it required to
secure the first success; it cost all the distress
which the loss would have occasioned. One is
compelled to pursue that system of dissimula.
tion which led to the station which he occupies;
nnd, more harrassed by terror than those whose
homage he receives, the secrecy which he is
[ 83 J
forced to wrap up in his own breast agitates
his whole frame. Another incessantly pros-
trates himself, to maintain the favour of the
master, whether king or people, from whom he
derives his power.
In a monarchy, the ambitious man is obliged
to adopt all the received truths, to view as im.
portant all established forms. If he inspires
awe, he gives offence; if he continu(s the same
behaviour, his power is supposed to be on the
decline. In a democracy, he mllst anticipate
the wishes of the people, he must obey their
desires while he becomes responsible for the
event: he must every day stake his whole
fortune, without hoping to derive from the past
allY support for the future. In a word, no man
ever existed who was the peaceable possessor of
an eminent station. The loss of .dignity in the
greatest number has been distinguished by a
signal fall. Some have p l l r c h a ~ d the possession
by all the torments of uncertainty and appre-
hension. Nevertheless, such was the dread
they entertained of a return to a private life,
that Sylla is the only ambitious clJaraCter who,
having voluntarily abdicated his power. peace-
ably outlived this great resolution. The step
which he took still excites the astonishment of
ages; and moralists in every sllcceeding age
[ 84 J
have proposed. as the subjeCt of their investiga.
tions, the solution of this problem. Charles V.
absorbed all his attention in the contemplation
of death; \\ hen ceasing to reign, he thought he
had ceased to live. ViRor Amadeus again
wished to mount a throne which a distracted
irnadiJation had induced him to abandon. In

a word, no man ever descended without regret
from a rank which placed him superior to other
men; at least no ambitious man; forwhat is
the destiny without the soul by which it is cha-
raCterised? Events are the external appendages
of life, its real source lies in our own feelings.
DiocIesian may quit a throne; Charles 11. may
preserve it- in peace: the one is a philosopher.
the other an epicurean. Both of them enjoy
a crown, the object of their ambitious wishes.
But though seated upon a throne, they pr;ictised
the manners of private l,fe; and their good
qualities, as well as their defeCts, rendered them
absolute strangers to that ambition, of which
their situation might be the object.
In a word, though there might be a chance
of prolonging the possession of the benefits
which ~ m b i t i o n presents, is it an undertaking
\\hich offers such extraordinary advantages?
The Illiut! \\ nich devotes itself to the pleasures
of ambition for ever. renders itself incapable
. [85 J
of any other mode of existence. He that em•

barks in thc cnterprizes of ambition must burn
the vesseL5 which might transport him back to
a more tranquil state of life, and desperately
place himself between victory and death. Am.
bition is that passion, which, in its misfortunes,
feels most of all)' the necessity of vengeance; all
invincible proof that it 11so leaves behind it the
fewest means of comolation. Ambition cor-
rupts the heart; for h,)w is it possible, that after
having rendered every thing subservient to our
own views, and considered every thing only as
it afteCtcd ourselves, we shouid transport our·
selves into the place of another, and sympathize
with his situation? After having ranked all
around us oilly as'instruments or all obstacles,
how can we afterwards consider them as friends?
Selfishness is the natural progress of the his-
tory of the :;Qul, is the defeCt of age, because it
is that failing which admits of no correCtion.
To divert our cares and solicitudes for our.
selves to another objeCt, is a kind of moral
regeneration, of Vi hich there are very few ex-
amples.
The love of glory has so much gr:ln8eur in
its success, that even its disappointments are
impressed with the same air of dignity. Me-
lancholy may delight to contemplate them, and

[ 86 J
the pity they inspire preserves that respeCtful
charaCter \\ hich serves to support the great
man to whom it is extended. \Ve refleCt that
the h0pe of obtaining immortality by public
services, that the crown which fame bestows,
were the only rewards by which he laboured to
be distinguished. It should seem that by aban-
doning to negleCt him whose object was the
love of glory, men expose themsel ves to the
danger of personal loss. Some of them are
afraid lea5t they err against their own interest,
by renouncing their share of the benefits which
it was his ohject to confer. None cun despise
either his efforts or his object. He :;till retains
his personal valour and his appeal to posterity;
and if he is overpowered by injustice, the in-
justice likewise senes to afford some consola-
tion to the regret of disappointment. But the
ambitious man, deprived of power, lives only
in his own eyes and for himself. He has staked
all upon 1. throw, and has lost: such is the his-
tory of his life. The public has won by his
bad fortune, for the advantages he possess-
ed are now placed within the reach and re-
stored to the hopes of all, and the triumph of
his rivals is the only lively sensation which his
retreat inspires. In a very short time, this in-
cident, too, is remembered no more; and the
best cbance of h a p p i n e ~ s Which his retirement

[ 87 ]
affords, is the facility with which the is
allowed "to sink into oblivion. Bya cruel com-
bination, however, the world, in whose estima-
tion you wish to be viewed with importance,
no longer remembers your past existence, and
those who mingle in your society can never
divest themselves of the recollection of what
you have been.
The glory of a great man dilfuses far around
a brilliant lustre ovel' those to whom he is
. but the places, the honours which
the ambitious lIIan distributes every mO;lJCnt,
ellcroach lIpon the interests of all. The palms
of genius follow thcil' conqueror at a respect-
ful dist:1I1rc. The gifts of fortune are displayed
about your person; they press around you; and
as they le:J.\if' bthind them no right to esteem,
when they are taken away, all the ties with
which you were bound to society are broken;
01' if shame still induces a few friends to re-
main, so many personal regrets recur to thcil'
minds, that they incessantly reproach the nlan
who is stripped of uJl, on account of the share
\\ hich they had in his enjoymen ts. Even he
himself cannot banish the painful reflections by
which he is hauntecl. The most cruel losses
are those which at once overthrow the sYstem

and alicd l'very incident of life. The pleasures
I
[ 88 J
which glory affords, thinly scattered in the
course of fate, epochs in the revolution of a
number of years, accustom the mind to endure
long intervals between the moments of happi-
ness. The possession of places and of honours,
on the other hand, being a habitual advantage,
their loss must be felt every moment of life.
The lover of glory has a conscience, and this
is pride; though this sentiment renders a man
much less independent than attachment to
virtue, it secures us from servitude to others.
if it does not confer upon us the empire of
ourselves. The ambitious man has never va-
lued dignity of charaC1er above the a d v a n t a g e ~
of power; and as no price appears too extra·
vagant to purchase the acquisitioll, when it is
gone it leaves behind it no consolation. In
order to love and to possess glory, gualities sO
supereminent are required, that if their highest
theatre of aCtion is withQut us, yet they still
can supply materials for reflection in the silence
of retreat. But the passion of ambition, the
means necessary to success in the objeCts it
pursues, are useless for any other pnrpose. It
is impulse rather than force. It is a kind of
ardour which cannot be supported on its own
resources. It is a sentiment in its nature I
hostile to the past, to reflection, to every thing
v. hich leads to the contemplation of our former
[ 89 ]
and present situation. Opinion, while it blames
the ,sacrifices of disappointed ambition. COll)-
pletes its misery by refusing sympathy. This
refusal, too, is unjust; for pity ought to .be
guided by other motives than esteem; it ought
to be regulated by the extent of the miser}' by
which it is solicited. In a word, the calamities,
of ambition are of such a nature, that the
strongest characters have never found in their
own breasts a power sufficient to enable them
to support their weight.
Cardinal Alberoni wished to domineer in the
little republic of Lucca, which he had chosen
as the place of' his retreat. We see old men
drag along with them to court the disquietudcs
with which they are agitated; setting ridicule
and contemptat defiance, to gratify the pleasure
they feel in dwelling upon the last shadow of
the past.
The passion of glory cannot be deceived in
its objeCt. It wishes either to possess it entire,
or to rejeCt every thing that would diminish its

own dignity. But ambition condescends to
llccept the first, the second, the third place, in
the order of credit and power, and even hum.
bles itself toeach degree, from the horror which
it feels at the idea of being absolutely deprived
N
[ !JO ]
of all that can cro\vn, or satisfy, or even delude
its desires.
Is it not possible, may it be said, to live as
happily after having occupied high stations, as
before they were obtained? No: a feeble ef-
fort \-;ill never be effectual to carry you back
to the p o i n ~ from which it first enabled you to
mow, and the re-action will throw you farther
back, than when you first began to ascend. It
is the great and the cruel character of the pas·
::ions, to tinge the \\ hole of life with the violence
of their operations, and to communicate the
happiness they may afford only to a few mo.
ments of our existence.
If these general considerations are sufficient
to convey a just idea of the influence of ambi-
tion upon happiness, the authors, the specta.
tors, the cotemporaries of the French revolu.
tion must find, in their o\\n hearts, new motives
to shun all poUtical passions.
In the moments of re\'olution, it is ambition
alone which can obtain success. :Means of ac-
quiring power remain; but opinion, which di,·
tributes glory, no longer exists. The people
command, instead of judging. Performing an
a5tive part in the events which OCGur, they ar·
[ 91 J
range themselves upon one side or other. The
nation then consists only of combatants; the
impartial power, called THE PUBLIC, is no where
to be fouod. What is great andjl:st, abstractly,
is no longer acknowledged: every thing is esti-
mated hy its relation to the prevailing passions
of the moment. Strangers have no means of
ascertaining the esteem they ought to confer
lIpon that conduct which all the spec9ators have
condemned. Perhaps even no voice will com-
municate a faithful report to posterity, In the
midst of revolution, either the impulse of am-
bition or the dictates of conscience must be
obeyed; no other guides can lead with safety
to its conclusion. Yet what ambition! what
horrible sacrifices does it exact! what a woeful
reward does it promise! A revolution sus-
pends every po\\er but that of force; the social
order establishes the ascendancy of esteem and
of virtue. Revolutions set all men at variance
with their physical resourres. The kind of
moral influence which they admit, is the fil11ati-
cism of certain ideas, which, being susceptible
of no modification, of no limits, are the weapons
of warfare, not the ,conclusions of judgment.
The l1lan, then, who yields to ambition, at the
period of revolutions, mlist ever olltstri p the
impulse which men's minds have received j it is
a rapid descent in which it is impossible to stop.
[ 92 ]
If you leap down from the chariot, yOll art'!
m:mgled by the fall. To shun the danger, is
more btal than to brave it openly. You must
guide your along the path which is en-
comrJssed with destruction, and the least reo
movement proves the ruin of him who
attempts it, without preventing the consequence
at which he recoiled. Nothing can be more
fran,ie than to interfere in circumstances which
are altogether independent of the passions of
an indi\"idual. It is to risk much greater evils
than the 103s of life; it is to resign the whole
moral rectitlide of our conduct to the guidance
of a material power. Men imagine that their
infllience is felt in rc';olutions; they imagine
that they act, that they are the causes which
produce certain errects ; and yet they are but
like a stone' projected forwards by the tllrning
of the great II heel. Another might have occu·
pied the ,au;e place, and different means would
have prod uced the same effect The name of
Chief denotes only tRe person who is precipi.
t:<:ted onwards by the crowd, which follows be-
hil.d, and pushes forward.
The reverses and the SUCCEsses of a]1 those
""I'om \l"e see performing a distinguished part
in a revolution, are nothing more than the for-
or unfortunate coincidence of such men

C93 J
with the particular state of things. There is
no fac1ious OIall \\ho can truly predict what
measures he will pursue to-morrow; for it is
pOII·er I\hich a faction endeavours to obtain,
rather than the object at which it originally
aimed. A triumph may be obtained by adopt-
ing measures directly opposite to those which
were projeCted, if the same party continues to
govern, and the fanatics alone retain the fac.
tious in the same course. The latter are desi.
rOlls only of power; and ambition never hesi.
tates greatly at the sacrifice of character. In

such times, in order to govern men to a certain
extcnt, they mllst not possess any certain rules
by which to calculate before-hand the conduct
you will observe. When they know that you
are inviolably attached to particular principles
of morality, they prepare to attack you in the
path which you must pursue.
In order to obtain, in order to preserve a few
moments of power in the course of a revolution,
it is necessary to disobey the dictates botb of
the heart and of the understanding. Whatever
party you espollse, the faCtiun in its essence is
demogogical ; it is composed of men who are
unwilling to obey, who feel themselves neces-
Rary, and who do not consider themselves bound
to those by whom they are commanded. It is

[ 91 ]
composed of men disposed to choose new chiefs
every day, because they are aCtuated only by
feelings of their own interest, and by no ante-
rior motives of subordination, natural or poli-
tical It is of more consequence to leaders that
they should not be suspeCted by their soldiers,
than that they should be dreaded by their ene-
mies. Crimes of every description, crimes
\\ holly useless to the success of the cause, are
dictated by the ferocious enthusiasm of the
populace. They dread pity, whatever be the
degree of its force; it is in fury, not in cle-
mency, that they are sensi LIe of thei r power.
A pf'ople who govern, never cease to be undel"
the influence of fear: they imagine themselves
every moment on the point of losing their au-
thority; and prone, from their situation, to the
emotions of envy, they never feel for the van·
quished that interest which oppressed weakness
is calculated to inspire; they view the fallen
still as objects of alarm. The n1an, then, who
wishes to obtain a great influence in these times
of crisis, must keep alive the. courage of the
multitude by his inflexible cruelty. He feels
not the panic terrors which spring from igno-
rance, but he must minister to the hideous
sacrifices which it requires. He must immo.
late victims, \\ hom no interest leaos him to
fear, whom his character often prompts him to
[ 95 J
save. He must commit crimes, without the
excuse of :seduction, of m a d n e s ~ , even of atro·
city, by the command of a sovereign, \\ bose
orders he cannut foresee, and none of whose
passions his enlightened soul can adopt. Alas!
and \\ hata re\\ ard for such eHorts !
What kind of suffrage does he thus procure!
How tyrannical is the gratitude which bestows
the crown of re\\ard! He sees so well the limi:s
of his power, he feels sa often that he ooeys
under the appearance of command; the pas.
sions of men are so violently deranred in the
moment of revolution, that no illusion is pas.
sible, and the most magically delightful of all
emotions, that which the acclamations of a
whole people inspire, can no more be renewed
with pleasure to him who has seen that people in
the movements of a revolution. Like Cromwell,
he says, when viewing the crowd whose suI'.

frages he enjoys: "They would applaud in
the same manner, were they following me to
the gallows."
This event is never removed at a great dis.
tance from the ambitious man. To-morrow
may be the day when it shall hapren. Your
judges, youra:ssassins, :ire in the crowd that sur·
rounds you, ;lJld the transport that raises )'OIJ
( 96 J
to distinCtion becomes the very impul5e which
precipitates your overthrow. By what dangers
are you menaced, what rapidity in the fall, how
profound the abyss! Although success may not
have raised you higher, reverse swo:eps you
lower than you stood before, and plunges you
still deeper in the obscurity of Jour lall.
Diversity of opinions prevents any claim to
glory from being confirmed; but those who dif·
fer in their opinions in your favour, agree in
the expression of contempt. A character is
cecided with a shout; and the people, whrll
they abandon the ambitious man, for the first
time, recognize the crimes which they have
forced him to commit, and reproach him with
the guilt in order to absolve themselves from
the charge. But woe be to the man who, fond
of power, has plunged himself into the scenes
of a revolution! Cromwell remained a suc·
cessful usurper, because the principle of the
troubles he fomented was religion, which
prompts to insurreCtion without discharging
from obedience; because it was a feeling of
superstition which induced a change of masters,
Lut did not lead men to spurn every yoke.
\Vhen the cause of revolutions, however, is the
extravagant excess of all ideas of liherty, it is
that the first leaders of the inS\1f

[ 97 J
reWon should preserve their power. They are
doomed to excite the movement hy which they
are to be the first overwhelmed. They are
fated to develope the principles hy which
they are to be condemned. III a word, they
n1ay gratify their opinion, but never their in.
terest; and, in a revolution, fanaticism is even
more sober than ambition.
o
,

CHAP. m.
OF VANIT\'.
I T is common to ask whethel' vanity be a pas.
sian? To consider the insufficiency of its ob.
jeCt, we should be tempted to doubt that it is;
hut when we observe the violence of the move-
ments which it inspires, we recognize the chao
racteristics of the passions, and discover in the
servile dependence on every thing around them.
into which, by this abjeCt feeling, men are de·
graded,all the sufferings which it is calculated to
produce. The love of glory is founded upon the
most elevated principles in the nature of man.
l\mbition is conneCted with e\ery thing that i ~
most substantial and positive ill the mutual reo
lations of human beillgs. Vanity, on the can·
trary, is dependent upon that which has nc.
real value, either in itself or in others j it 'ur.
sues apparent advantages and fleeting effects;
it lives upon the altai of the two olher passions;
sometillles, however, it associates itself to their
empire. Man is hurried into extremes by his
weakness or by his strength, but most com·
monly vanity gains the ascendant oVer every
lither passion in the breast of him who expe•
[ 100 ]
rienres its influence. The pains wbich attend
this passion are but little k n O l ~ n , because those
\\ ho feel it:; smart keep it ['ecret; and allman-
kind having agreed to despise this sentiment,
the regrets or the fears of which it is the objeCt
are never avo\\ ed.
One of the first vexations incident to vanity,
is to find in itself at once the cause of its suf.
ferings, and the necessity of concealing them.
"Vanity feeds upon a success not sufficiently
exalted to admit of dignity in its disappoint.
ments.
Glory, ambition, challenge their proper ap-
pellations. Vanity sometimes prevails, while
the person whom it governs remains uncon.
scious of its existence. Never, at least, is its
power publicly recognized by him who submits
to its sway. He wishes to be thought superior
to the gratifications which he obtains, as well as
to those which are denied. The public, how.
ever, disdaining his object, and remarking his
exertions, depreciate the possession by em·
bittering it:. loss. The importal1l'e of the ob.
jeCt to which we aspire does not determine t"he
degree of grief which the privation of it oc-
casions. Ollr feeling is in proportion to the
violence of the desire; above all, to the opinion
[ 101 J
which others have formed of the intenseness of
our wishes.
The pains which vanity is destined to feel are
likewise distinguished by this circlImstance,-
that welearn from others, rather than from our
own feelings, the degree of vexation which it
is fitted to occasion. The more the world be·
lieves yOll to be distressed, your sources of af.
flicrion are multiplied. There is no passion
which so much kerps self in view, Lut there is
Ilolle which proceeds less from cause5 within
our own breast. All its movements receive
their impulse from external objeCts. It is not
only to the association of men in communities

to which this feeling owes its rise, but to a de.
gree of civilization which is !lot known in every
country, and the efleCts of \\hich would be
almost beyond the conception of a people whose
manners and institutions are simple. Nature
rejcCls the emotions of vanity, and men in a
rude state would be unable to romprehend how
dist/'esses so profound could spring from emo·
tions so unnecessary.
-
Have you ever been in company with Da·
man? He is a person of obscure birth. He is
conscious of this, and he is a\\'are that every
LOdy knows it. But. instead of displaying a

[ 102 ]
contempt of this advantage, on grounds of
reason and of interest, he has but one object in
the world, and It is to entertain yon with the
subject of the great lords with whom he has
passed his life, He protech them, that he may
not seem to be protected; he calls them hy
their names, while their equals address them
by their titles; and discovers himself to be a
subaltern, from his anxiety to avoid the appear-
ance of inferiority. His cunversation consists
of parentheses, \\ hich) 110\\ ever, are the prin.
cipal points of \\ hat he s'IYs. He would af·
f e , ~ t to drop by accident what he has the most
violent inclination to tell. He labours to ap·
pear disgusted with every thing which he en·
\'ies. In order to \\ear the appearance of
ease, he sinks into excessive familiarity. He
becomes confirmed in the habit, because no·
body has sufficient regarJ for him to check his
forwardness. All the attention which he re-
ceives in company arises from the insignificance:
in which he is viewed, and the anxiety which
people feel to treat his folly with some reserve,
for fear of losing the pleasure of laughing at
him. To whom does he appear in the light in
which he wi"hes to be considered? To nobody;
perhaps he even suspects e:is to be the casei
l:. ut his aCtive vanity comes in to his relief. In
wishing to show the ,-ain man his own a.bl;llr·
[ 103 J
dity, he may be touched with a momentary
agitation; but his foible is not to be correCted.
Hope revives every mO':.lent, even from the
mortification he has experienced, or rather, as
happens frequently in many other of the pas-
the principle recovers its activity even
\\ it!J()ut any feeling of hope. We are
UII" illing to deterndne upon the sacrifice of any
feeliug '.\ hich we cherish.

Are you acquainted with He has
grown old in without acquiring any
klJowledge of their nature, \\ithout colleCting
the smallest experience; yet he inlagines that
he possesses the talent fitted for the offices
which he has occupied. He imparts to you in
confidence what you find in all the newspapers.
He speaks with caution even 01 the mil,isters of
the last century: he accompanies every phrase
with a gri nwce, which has no more meaning than
his words. He carries ill his pocket letters
from Il,iuisters and Illell of influence, which reo
late to common affairs; but which seem to him
proofs of confidence. He shudders at what he
calls r a strange head;' and this name he very
readily bestows VPOIl every superior man. He
has a philippic against wit, which the majority
of a dl':lwing room almost always applaud.
" Your wit," says he, rr is an insuperable barrier
[ 104 J
to success in life. Your men of wit have no
idea of business.' Lycedas, you have no wit, it
is true; but it does not follow from this that you
are capable of governing an empire.
People often found their vanity upon quali.
ties which they do not possess. We frequently
see men value themselves upon intellectual or
external advantages of which they are desti.
tute. The vain man swells with satisfaction at
the view of every thing which has a relation to
himself indiscriminately. f 'Twas I! 'twas I"
again he exclaims. This enthusiastic egotism
converts all his defects into charms. In this
respect Cleon makes a very conspicuous figure.
Every kind of pretension is at once combined
in his mind. He is ugly; he imagines himself
handsome: his writings sink into obscurity; he
ascribes it to a cabal, \.. hose opposition does
him honour: he is neglected; and he conceives
that he is persecuted: he does not wait for
you to praise him; he tells you what you should
think: he speaks to you of himself, before you
have asked him a single question; and if you
ans\\er him, he pays no attention to what you
say: he likes much better to hear himself; fur
you can never say any thing to equal what he
will say of himself. A person of infinite wit,
speaking of what might precisely be called a


[ 105 J
·proud and vain man, once said, rt TVbw I see
,
him, 1 Jeel somdbing like tbe pleasure. of seeing a
happy couple, his selJ.love and be lir'e so bapplty
togtiber" II,deed when self·love has reached a
certain excess, it is so perfectly sat.isfied with
itself, that it has no occasion to be uneasy, to
doubt the opinion of others. It forms are·
source within itself, and this credulity in its
own merit, indeed, has some of the advantages
of those modes of worship, which are founded
upon a firm faith.
But as vanity is a passion, he who is subject
to it cannot be tranquil. Detached from all
pleasures that are not personal, from all sensi.
ble atIections, this selfishness destroys the pos.
sibility of loving. There can be no object so
unproductive as one's self. Man extends his
faculties by employing them upon something
external; in the cultivation of some opinion.
some attachment, some species of virtue. Va.
nity and pride render the mind, in some sort,
stationary, nor permit it to verge from the
narrow circle in which it is confined; and yet
within that circle lies a source of misery more
abundant than is to he found in any other ex-
istence, the interests of which may be more
Hluitiplied. By concentrating our life, we
p
[ 1()6 J
concentrate our sufferings; and he
who exists only for himself, diminishes his
,
means of enjoyment, by rendering himself more
accessiHe to the impression of pain. We see,
hO\\ever, in the external appearance of some
men, such symptoms of content and ofsecu.
Tity, that we should be trll1pted to envy their
vanity as the ollly real enjoyment, since it is
the most perfect of all illusions. But a single
reflection overthrows all the authority of these
apparent symptoms; and it is, that these men,
having no other source of happincss but the
effect \1,' hich they prodlire 11 pon others, in order
ta ro::ceal from every eyc the secret torments
which disappointmen·t or mortification oeca-
are capable of a kind of effort v.hich no
other motive cOllld be a:)le to effect. In most
situations, too, ha ppiness forms p:-irt of the
pageantry of vain men; or, if theyacknowlerlge
any uneasines'-', it can only be that which it is
honourable to feel.
The vanity of superior men leads them to
aspire at distinctions to which they have no
right. This foible of great genius continually
recurs in history. We have tieen distinguished
aut] Drs value themselves chi. fly upon the trif.
ling \\ hich they have obtained in puolic
affairs; \\ arriors, courageous ilnd firm; minis.
[ J


tel'S, flattered beyond everything with the praise
bestowed upon their indilferent writings; men
who have posscssed great qualities, eager in the
pursuit of petty advantages. III a word, as the
imagination infbmes all the passions, vanity is
much more active in the pursuit of success
which is doubtful, a:,d 1I10l'e anxious to be
thought to possess tilents Oil which it cannot
depend. Emulation excites our real qualities.
Vanity takcs tbe lead in every thing in which
we are deficient. Vanity orten does lIot extin·

guish pride j and as nothing is so slavish as
vanity, nor so independent, on the contrary, as
true pride, there is no punishment more cruel
than the combination of these two qualities in
the same charaRe!". We are eager to attain
what we despise: we cannot submit to the de.
gradation, nor C'ln we conquer the desire. 'We
blush, even in our own eyes; even to our own
view, we exhibit the speNacle which pre-
sents to an enlightened and elevated soul.
This passion, which is great only in the pain
which it occasions, and cannot, but on this very
accoun t, be chssed \\ itll the others, deveJopes
all its qualities in the conduCt of women. Every
thing in them is love or van ity. When they
uesire to maintain more extended or more glit-
tering intercourse than that which the soft and
[ 108 ]
lenGer sentimcnts with which they impire those
around them are calculated to produce, they
endeavour to attain the gr:Jtif:cation which
\'anity affords. Thc efforts which Illay prove
ad\'antageous to 'men of power and of ghry,
seldom bestow upon WOmen more than a passing
applause,-the credit of intrigue; in a word, a
kind of triulllph which springs from vanity,
that sentiment which corresponds to their tao
lents and to their de5tiny. It i5 in \\on:en,
therefore, that we must examine its character.
There are women \\'ho are vain of advan-
tages wLich arc not personal to thcmselves,
5uch as birth, r:ll1k, and fortune. l'\othing can
evince a more complete want of feeling of the
dignity of the sex. The origin of all women is
ceje5tial ; for it is to the gifts of nature that
they owe their influence. When they interfere
with the objects of pridc and ambition, they
strip their charms of all the magic which they
The credifwhich they obtain, appear.
ing only a f1ecting and limited existence, can
never procure them the consideration VI hich
results from extensive power, and the success
which they obtain has the distinctive character
of the triumphs of vanity; it supposes neither
nor respect for the person Oil whom it is
bestowed. Women thus exuhper,lte against
[ 109 ]
them the passions of those who otherwise would
have no wish but to love them. The only real
absurdity in character, that which results from

to the nature of things, renders their
dforts ridiculous. \\1 hen they oppose the pro.
jects, the ambition of men, imp;re that
lively which an unexpected obsta.
cle excites. If they mingle in 'political intrigues
in their youth, their modesty will be brought
into suspicion. If they are old, the disgust
\\hich they inspire as women, injures their pre·
tensions to the business of men. The figure of

a woman, whatever be the force, the extent of
her mind, whatever be the importance of the
objefls to which she employs her attention,
form either an obstacle, or an advantage in the
history of her life. Such is the Jaw which men
have established. The more they are inclined,
however, to. judge a woman by the advantages
or the defeCts of her sex, the more they are of.
fended to see her embrace a destination con-
trary to her nature.
These reflections, it will easily be conceived,
are not intended to divert women from all seri··
aus occupation; but to save them from the cala.
mity of pursuing stich objects, as the great aim
of their ext'rtiollS. W!:en the part which they
[ 110 ]
perform in important affairs, arises from at.
ttichment to him by whom they are conduCted;
, .. hen feeling alone diCtates their opinions, in-
spires their views, they do not swerve from the
path whieh nature has marked Gut. They love;
they are women. But when they labour to
perform an active and prominent part; when
they wish to direct all events to their own views,
and consider them as they' affeCt their own in-
£. Lienee, their personal interest; then they are
hardly worthy of the ephemeral applauses in
whieh the triumphs of vanity consist. vVomen
are almost never honoured by any kind of
claim to superiority. Even the distinCtifln of
art,. which seems to present a more extensive
career, frequently is unable to carry them be-
)'ono the height of vanity. The reason of this
unjust and improper judgment is, that men
see no kind of general utility in encouraging
the success of women in this career; and because
every panegyric that is not founded upon the
basis of utility, is neither profound, nor perma-
nent, nor universal. Chance may sometimes
furnish exceptions. If there be any minds car-
ried away, either by their character or their
talents, they will perhaps emancipate them-
selves from the trammels of the common rule,
and o n ~ oay may be crowned with a few p a l l 1 l ~

[m J
of glory. They wiH not, however, escape the
inevitable mi::;ery which will ever attach to their
lilte.
The happiness of \\omen is dead to every
kind of personal am!lition; when they wish to
please only to be loved, when that deiightfuI
hope is the only motive of their conduct, they
are more anxious to cultivate accomplishment
than to present themselves to obsel'vation; more
solicitous to form their mind. to promote the
happiness of one than to catch the admiration
of all. But when they aspire at celebrity, their
efforts, as well as their success, banish that feel.
ing in which, under different nallles, must al·
ways the fortune of their lite. A woman
cannot exist in an insulated state. Glory, even,
\lOuld not furnish her with a sufficient support;
and the insurmountable weakness at her nature,
and of her situation in the social order, has
placed her ill a constant state of dependence,
from which even an immortal genius could not
save her. Besides, nothing can effilce in woman
the particular features by which her charaCter
is distin!! uished. She who should devote her
v
attention to the of the proposi.
tions in Euclid, would like\\ ise wish to enjoy
the happine;,s of loving and being beloved; and
when women I?ursue a course which deprives
I
[ 112 ]
them of that object, their lively regret, or
their ridiculous pretensions, show that nothing
can compensate to them for the destiny for
".'hich their souls v,ere formed. in.
deed, the distinguished success she obtains may
be a source of pleasure to him who courts the
favour of a celebrated \\oman, by flattering his
self-love. Yet the enthusiasm which this suc·
cess inspires is, perhaps, less permanent in its
nature than the attachment which is founded
:.1p0n more frivolous qualities. The criticisms
which necessarily succeed praise, dissipate that
species ot illusion through which all women
should be seen. The imagination may create,
may emcellish, by the glowing colours ,\ hich
it besto\\s, even an unknown objefr; the per·
son, r.owever, on whom the whole world has
pro:lOunced an opinion, no longer receives any
from the imagination. The real
value of the object remain?; but love is more
captivated by the qualilies it confers than by
those it finds. :Man vie\\ s with complacency
the superiority of his nature; al.d, like Pygma-
lion, prostrates himself only before his own
'\ork. In a \\ord, if the splendour of a wo·
man's celebrity attraCts the homage of admirers,
it is from a feeling in which love, perhaps, has
no share. It assumes the form of this pa-ssion,
but it is in on!er to secure access to the new
[ us J
kind of power which it wishes to please. V.,re
approach a woman of dhtinguished renown as
we do a man in place. The language Ill' em-
ploy, indeed, is different, but the motive is the
same. Sometimes intoxicated by the contend.
ing demonstrations of homage which the woman
they cultivate receives, the admirers mutually
animate the ardour of each other j but in their
feelings tbey are clependent upon the conduct
of their rivals. T he first \, ho abandon the
pursuit may detach those who rellJain; and
she who seems to be the objeCt of all their
:'doration, at length discovers that she retaius
every individual vy the example of his rivals.
What emotions of jealousy and of hatred
do the distinguished success of a \\Oman pro-
duce! What vexations are occa ioned by the
numberless meallS \\ hich envy takes to per-
seCllte! The majority of women are against
her, from rivalship, from folly, or from prin-
ciple. The talents of a woman, be ,,,hat they
may, always inspire tbem wj th uneasy sensa-
tions. who are for ever precluded from
the distinCtions of understandin/!, filld a thou-
sand ways of attacking them tbey fall to
the ofa \\oman. A beauty, in despising
the&e flatters herself that she dis-
Q
"
C11+ J
playa with more c.d\-antage the merit she pas.
A woman \\ ho imagines re·
n;arkable fer prllcellce and the corre.etness of
her D:i:d. aild \\ho, ne\er having had two ideas
in her he:ld, \V to be tholig ht to have re-
jec":eJ \\ hat sloe really never romprrhended,
;-joe; a little aL,ovc her sterilIty, to hunt
hI' a thoUStl:;,J al'surditics ill her \'vit
311i,llatcs and diversifies conversatian. Mothers
of families, too, thiaking, with· some
that the even of true \vit is not suited
io the charafter \\ hich belongs to the fair sex,
are to see those attacked who have ob-
tained the distinction.
It is to be considered likewise, that a woman
who, after ha\iing obtained" a real superiority,
comider herself raised above hatred,
and, in her own estimation, should conceive
herself elevated to the fame eminence "ith the
most distinguisl:ed men, would neVi r attain
that tranquillity and strength of mind which
distinguish the charaCter of such men. Imagi.
nation would ever be the most vigorous of her
Lcu!ties. Her talents might enlarge, but hel'
mind would be too violently agitated; her feel.
ings would be troubled by chimeras, her ac-
lions would be directed bv her illusions. Bel"

understanding might deserve some d::-gree of
,
C115 J
glory, by transferring into her writings cor.
i"ect!less of reasoning Great talents,
combined with a passionate imagination. lead
to true general conclusions, but derei' e \\ ith
regard to particular applications. \Vomea of a
sensible and pliant temper will ever aflora
examples of this lIn ion of
and of truth, of that kind of inspiration of mind
\\' hich utters oracles to the un iverse, and yet is
unable to supply common acjvice for the regu-
lation of personal conduCt. If we examine
with attention the few women who possess real
titles to glory, we shall find that this effort of
their nature was always at the expenee bf their·
happiness. After h:\Ving sung the sweetest
lessons of morality and of philosophy, Sappho
precipitated herself from the summit of the
Leucadil:ln rock. Elizabeth, after having Sllb·
dued the enemies of England, fell:i viCtim to
her passion for the Earl of Essex. In a word. .
tefore entering this career of glory, whether
the throne of the Cresars or the crown of lite-
rary genius, be the of desire, women
ought to renec-l, that for glory they must re-
nounce happiness, and the repost' which befits
the destination of their sex; and that in this
filreer there are few prizes to be obtained whieh
tan vic with the most obscure state ofn beloved
'\ife I))' a happy mother.
[ 116 J
Ouitting for a moment the examination of
~ ~
Y:l::'ty. I h,,\e considered the cO;lsequcnces
which rEsult from the sp'endollr of a high re-
putation. What ~ h a l l v.e say, however, of those
petty pretensions to a miserable success in li.
terature, for which we see so many WOl1Jen ne-
glc5t the:r feelin!;s and their duties? Ingrossed
by ~ h e iilterest which this inspires, they reo
nounce the distinguishing ch:lracleristic of their
sex mare than the female champion,; in the days
of chivalry; for it is far better to share in battle
the dangers which we love, than to mingle in
the contests of se1fishness;to exact expressions
of sentiment, to require hOlllage lor vanity, and
thus to drain the eternal source, in order to
satisfy emotions the most fleeting in their na.
ture, and desires the most narrow in their ob.
ject. That agitation which inspires the fair sex
with a more natural pretension, since it is more
nearly connected with the hope of being be-
loved, that agitation \\ hich inspires women with
the desire of pleasing by the charms of their
figure, presents also the most striking picture
of the torments of vanity.
Observe a lady at a ball, anxiolls to be thought
the finest woman in the assembly, and doubt ful
of her success. The pleasure \\ hich it is the
purpose of the assembly to enjoy is lost to her.
[ li7 ]
She does not for a moment experience such a
sensation; for it is totally absorbed by her pre-
vailing sentiment, and the pains \1 h:ch she
takes to conceal it. She \\atches the looks, the
wast trivial llIarks of the .opiuion of the COIll-
pany \Iith the attention of a moralist and the
anxiety of a politician; and wisLilJ;!, to conceal
frolll every eJC the tormcn ts she feds, her af-
lettatioll of gaiety at tLc triumph of a rival, the
turbulence 01' l\er conv'.'rsalion \\ hen that rival
is applauded, the over atjeJ regard \\ hich she
eXj1n:sscs for her, aad the un nccc,,::;;:ry elillrtsshe
make::;, betray her sutIering::; and her constraint.
Grace, that supreme charm of Leauty, never
displays itself but when the llli:1J is at case,
and ',1 hen cOlloJence prevails, lJllcasine'isand
con::;traiilt obscure lho,e auvantages \Ihich \\e
possess; the countenance is con tLlcted by every
pang \V hich self-love occasions. \Ve very soon
discover the change and the vexation which the
discovery produces still increascs tile evil II hit>h
it is desirous to rep:lir. VexatioJl jncreases
UpOIl vexdio:l, and the objeCl is l'cnuered 1110re
remote by the very d e ~ i r e of possession. In
this piCture, too, \\ hich, \\ e sl:o::ld t1:iDk, ought
only to remind us of the caprices or a child, we
rcco1!nize the suf1erings or maturer ngc, the
emotions which lead to dC5p:lir anti to d ddt's.
[ 118 ]
t ~ t i o n of iife. To such a d e ~ r e e does the im'
-
portance of the a bjeet increase with the atten.
tion \\ e be,tow upon it, and so much more does
the sensation we experience arise from the
character it receives than from the objeet by
which it is inspired.
'Vho could think it! yet in the greatest event
\\ hich evcr agitated the human species, in the
revolution of France, we may observe the deve.
lopement of this principle, no less striking and
com plete than in the ball room, \v here the most
fri·;olous claims to distinction display the ef.
feets of \"J.lJitv in their warmest colours. This

feeling, so limited in its object, so weak in its
spri ,g, that we hesitate to assign it a place
amo:ig the pa"sions, this very feeling has been
one of the caw:es of the greatest shocks which
ever convulsed the universe. I shall not call
vanity the motive \\ hich prompted twenty-four
millions of men to withdraw the priviieges of
two hundred thousand; it was reason which rose
against the system; it was Nature that resumed
her level. I sldl not even assert that the re-
sistance of the nobility to the revolution was
occasioned by vanity. The reign of terror
exposed that class to persecution and to suf-
ferings which forbid us to recall the past.

[ 119 J
It is in the interior movements of the revo-
Jiltion, ho\\ever, where we may obs'rve the em-
pire of vanity, the desire of ephemeral applause;
that rage to lllake a figure, that passion innate
ill every Frenchman; of which, compared with
tiS, strangers have only a very imperfeCt idea.
A great nUlllber of opinions !lave been dictated,
only by the desire of the preceding
speaker, and obtaining higher applanse than
he has received. The adnIission of spectators
into the hall of deliberation alone proved suf·
ficient to change the dircCfion of the affairs
of France. At first, the orators sacrificed, to
catch applause, only high floIVn expressions;
quickly, principles were yielJcd, decrees
"ere proposed, and crimes were approved. By
another fatal re.aelien, too, what was at lin,t
done only to please the llltdtitude, misled the
understanding itself, and the false judgment it
dictated required new sacrifices. It was not to
gratify sentiments of hatred and of fury that
barbarous decrees were intended; it was only
to catch a clap from the galleries. This noise
intoxicated the speakers, and threw them into
that state into which savages are plunged by
strong liquors j and the spectators themselveg,
\\ ho applauded, wished, by these signs of appro-
bation, to make proselytes of their neigh bOllI'S,
illld enjoyed the pleasure of influencing the



[ 120 J
conduCt of their representatives. Doubtless
the ascendant of fear at length succeeded to t\Je
ecnulation of vanity; but vanity had created
this er, \\ hieh extinguished for SOllle time;:
all the spontaneous nlovements of men. Soon
after the reign of terror, we saw vanity spring
up anew. The most o!::Jscure individuals boast.
ed of haYing been inscribed in the of pro-
scription l\'rost of the Frenchmen you meet
either pretend to have performed the most im·
portant character, or affirm that nothing which
has taken place in France would have happened,
if the advice had been accepted \\hich they of-
fered in such a place, at such an hour, on stich
an occasion! In a word, in France \\e are sur·
rOlll1ded by men who all proclaim themselves
the centre of this vast vortex. We are Stlf·
by men who would all have preserved
France from the evils she has sutfered, had they
been appointed to the first offices in the govern.
n;cnt; but \\ ho all, from the same sentiment,
to the ascendant of genius
or at virtue.
It is an important question for the considera·
tion of philosophers and publicists, whether
vanity contributes to maintain or to defend
lilJerty in a great nation. It certilinly at first
a variety of olJstacles to the establish.
[ 121 ]
ment of a new government. It is enough that
a constitution is frallled by certain men, to in-
duce others to reject it. It is necessary, as ill
the case of the constituent assembly, to dismiss
the founders, in order that the institutions may
be adopted; and yet the institutioils perish. if
they are not defended by their authors. Envy,
which loves to honour itself with the name of
distrust, overthrows emulation, banisbes know-
ledge, cannot support the union of power and
of virtue, endeavours to divide in order to o p ~
pose them to each other, and erects the power
of guilt, as the only olle which degrades him
who possesses it. But when a long course of
calalllity has silenced the passions, when the
want of laws is so strongly felt that men are no
longer considered but according to the legal
power which is entrusted to them; it is possible
that then, when it is the general spirit of ana-
-
tion, vanity may contribute to preserve free
institutions. As it is hostile to the ascendant of
one man, it suppprts the constitutional laws,
which, at the expiration of a fixed period of very
short duration, return the most powerful nlen
to a private condition. It in general supports
the wiII of the laws, hecau-e it is an abstract:
authority in which everyone has a part, and
from which no one can derive glory.
R
( J
Vanity is the foe of ambition. It wishes to

o\'erthrow what it cannot obtain. Vanity
a kind of importance, disseminated
tln"ut:h e\er)' shared by every individual,
which checks the power of glory; as bundles of
str1w repel the waves of the sea from the coasts
of Holland. In a word, the vanity all raises

so llJallY obstaclE-s, so many difficulties, in the
puUle career or every individual, that after a
certain period, the great inconvenience of re-
puuiics \\ jJ! perhaps no longer exist in France.
The hatred, envy, suspicion, all that springs
from vanity, \\ III for ever disgust the ambition
of place and of politics. Men will no longer
unite together, but IroD! Jove to their country,
attachment to the cause of humanity; and
these generol.s philosophic sentiments render
men as illflexible as the la\\s which they areap.
pointed to execute. T his hope, perhaps, is a
chiniera: but I am persuaded it is true that
vanity subll its to Jaw, a6 the .means. ofavoiding
the personal reputation of particular names;
and when its co,stitution is established, pre-
serves a great nation free, and its constitution
from the danger of being overthrown uy the
usurpation of a single man,
-
[ 122 J
NOTE,
_. -
TO BE BEFORE rHE CHApIER ON LOYL,
Or all the chapters of this \lark, there is none
upon which I cxpet1: so lIIuch as on
the present. The other passions having a de.
terminate object, afleCt, nearly in the same man.
ner, all who experience their influence. The
word LOVE awakens in the minds of those who
hear it almost as many different ideas as the
impressions of which they :)1"C susceptible. A
great numoer of men have remained unac.
quainted with the love of glory, with ambition,
with the spirit of party, &c. Every body ima•.
gines he has been in love, and almost evcry
body is mistaken in this opinion. The other
passions are much morc natural, and conse-
quently more frequent than this, for it is that
with which the smallest quantity of selfishness
is connel'1ed.
This ch:lpter, I shall be told, is of too gloomy
II cast; the idea of death which it inspires, is
from the piCl:ure of love which it
exl:ibits; and yet love embellishes life, love is
t::e charm of nature. No: there is no love ill
gay produClions; there is no love in the pas.
toral nYlllphs. In this opinion women, espe·
cially, ought to coincide. It certainly is flat.
tering to ple:ise, and thus to exercise on all
around. a power that exaCl:s obedience for
ourselves alolle; a power which obtains only
homage; a power which procures

obedience, because others delight to obey; and
managing others, even in opposition to their
interest, obtains nothing but implicit submis.
sion :wd unqlialified deference. But what
connection is there between the pertness· of
coquetry and the sentiment of love? It is
'hry possible, too, that men may be very much
interested, very much amused, particularly by
the attachment which beauty inspires, by the
hope or the certainty of captivating it; but
what conneCtion has this kind of i:npressioll
with the sentiment of love? It was my design
in this work to treat only of the passions; the
ordinary affeCl:ions from \\ hich no profound
distress can arise, did not enter into ·my sub.
jeCt; and love, when it is a passion, always leads
to melancholy. There is something obscure
in its impressions, which does not accord with
;aiety. There if> a settled cOllviCtion ill our

[ 125 ]
minds that every thing which succeeds to love
is worth nothing; that nothing can supply what
we have experienred; and this conviction leads
to the thoughts of death, even in the happiest
moments of love. I have considered in love
nothing but the sentiment, because it alone
c o n v e r t ~ the inclination into a passion. It is
not the first volume of the new Heloise, it is
the departure of St. Preux, the letter from
La !vieiJIerie, the death of Juli:I, which charac-
terise the passion in that romance. It is so
rare to mcet with the real heart felt love, that
I will venture to say that the allcients had no
complete idea of this affection. PLxdra la-
bours under the yoke of fatality; Anacreon is
inspired by feeling; Tibullus mingles somewhat
of the spirit of madrigal in his voluptuous
scenes; some verses of Dido, Ceyx, and Alcyone,
in Ovid, in spite of the mythology which dis-
tracts tbe interest, by destroying the proba-
bility, are almost the only passages in which
the sentiment possesses its full force, because
it is distinct from every other illfl uence. The
Italians blend so llluch poetry with their love,
that almost all the sentiments appear to rOil
like piCtures; your eyes retain the impression
longer than your heart. Racine, that painter
of loye, iu his tragedies, so sublime in 50 many
otlier respects) nJingles frequelltly \j ith the

[ 126 ]
movements of passion elaborate expressions,
\\ hich correspond only to the age in which he
Ii\ed. This defect is not to be found in the
tradegy of but the beauties borrowed
from the ancients, the beauties of poetic fancy,
while they excite the most lively enthusiasm,
uo not produce that profound sympathy which
arises from a most complete resemblance to
timents we ourselves may ex perienceo 'liVe
admire the conception of the part of
we can transport ourselves into the situation of
Amenaide. The tragedy of Tancred, then, is
c.lculated to draw forth more tears. Voltaire,
in his tragedies, Rousse31l, in the new Heloise,
\\. erter, some scenes of German tragedies,
SOme poets, passages of Ossian, &c.
have transfused the most profo:tnd sensibility
into love. i\Taternal tenderness, filial piety,
friendship combined with 8en"ibility, Pylades

and Orestes, Niobe, Roman piety, all the other
affections of the heart, are pourtrayed in the
true sentiments by which they are characterised.
Lo\(' alone is represented to us sometimes
under t);e most rugged characters sometimes
so either from voluptuousness or
from phrenzy, that it appears a picture rather
than a sentiment, a disease rather than a pas-
sion of the soul. It is of this passion alone
that! proposed to speak I h<lve rejected every
C127 J
other mode in \\ hich love can llC considered.
The matter \\ hich composes the preceding
chapters is collected from what I have remark.
ed in history or in the world. In writing the
present chapter, I have followed only my own
impressions. I have composed rather from
111)' own imagination than from observation;
and kindred minds will recognize its justice•


[ 128 )
CHAP. IV.
OF LOVE.
IF the O M ~ I P O T E ~ T , who has placed man upon
this earth, ever intended that he should conceive
the idea of a celestial existence, he has bestow.
ed uron him, for a few moments of his youth,
the power of loving with passion, of living in
another, of rendering his existence complete,
by uniting it to the object he holds dear. For
some time, at least, the limits of human des.
tiny, the analysis of thought, the investigations
of philosophy, are lost in the indescri ba hie
emotion of a delicious sentiment. The declin-
jng path was seductive, and the object which
even appears below any efforts, seemed to sur·
pass them all. \Ve never cease to estimate
whatever has a relation to ourselves; but the
qualities, the charms, the enjoyments, the in.
terests of those we love, have no limits but in
our imagination. Alas! how delightful that
moment, when we expose our life for the only
friend on whom the choice of our soul has fallen!
that moment \\ hen some act of absolute devo.
tion gives him, at least, an idea of the feeling
which oppressed the heart, because it was too
C129 ]
big for expression! A woman in those shock-
ing times which we have lived to Vtitness; a
woman condemned to death with him she loved,
leaving far behind her the assistance of mere
fortitude, advanced to punishment with joy,
exulted in the thought of having escaped the
tortures of surviving, was proud to share the
fate of her lover; and, perhaps, anticipating the
period when the love she cherished for him
might subside, sbe experienced a mixed senti-
ment of ferocity and tenderness, which led her
to embrace death as an eternal union. Glory,
ambition, fanaticism, and enthusiasm have
their intervals; in this sentiment alone every
installt is intoxication, nothing interrupts the
influence of love; no fatigue is felt in this in-
exhausti hIe source of and of happy emo.
tions. As long as we continlle to see, to feel
only in another, all nature to liS is under dif-
ferent forms, the spring, the prospect, and the
climate, which we have enjoyed with the beloved
object. The pleasures of tiil' world in
what he has said, what he has approved.• and the
amusements he has shared. Our success is
estimated only by the praises he has heard, and
the im which the of all may
produce.upon him whom alone we are anxious
to please. In a word, one single idea is capable
of occasioning to man the mO:it perfect felicity
s
llsa J
the nllldness of despair. Nothing fatigues
life like those different interests, the comhina.
tion of \\ hich has been reckoned a good system
of happiness.
Ir does not follow frorp the principle, that
\', e should avoid all passions, that \\ e weakC'll
the force of the misery they inflict, by combin·
ing several different ones together. It is even
less fatal to resign ourselves entirely to tbe in-
fluence of a single passion. In this ca!'e, no
doubt, we cxpDse ourselves to death, from the
int:nseness of our own affections. The first
oLje,'1 we to propose, however, when we
consider the fate o[ men, is not the prl.'serva-
tiell of their lives. The distinCTion of their im.
Ii'ortal nature is perceived only when it unites
phy;:,ical existence \\ith the possession of moral
ha ppiness.

It is by the assistance of reflection, it is by
divesting myself of all the enthusiasm of my
youth, that I inteDd to comider love, or, to spl.'ak
more correCtly. that absolute devotion of our
being to the the happiness, the
destiny of another, as the highest idea of felicity
which can exalt the hope of man. This de-
pendence lipan a single ohjeCt so con!plcteJy
separates us from the rest of the worlq, that
,
the mind, which desires to escape frolll all the
[ 131 J
constfl.!intg of self-love, from all the suspicions
of calumny, from all that can degrade in the
intercourse we maintain with mankind, dis-
covers in this passion something solitary and
cOilcentred, which inspires the soul with the
dignity of philosophy, and the unconstrained
glow of feeling. We are withdrawn from the
world by an interest much more lively than
any thing it contains can excite. We enjoy
pensive meditation and the sweet emotions of
the heart; in Jhe deepest solitude of life
the soul is more than upon the throne of
the Cresars. In a word, at whatever period of
life you call to mind the sentiment which you
have cherished from your youth, every moment
in which you ,have lived for another is infi-
nitely more delightful th;m those you have
passed amid selfish objeCts, and the very thought
is sufficient to you at once frolll remorse
and from anxiety. When '!VI.' pursue no other

object but our own advantange, how can we
, ,
prevail upon ourselves to form any decision?
The as it were, eludes the exalJlination
to which we lIubjecl the objec!. The event

frequently turns out so contrary to our expec-
tation, that we repent of the pains to whIch
we have suhmitted, that we flag in the prose-
clition pI' our own interest, as well as of every
. ,
lither But when life is devoted
[ 132 J
to the first object of our affeCtion, every thing
is 'positive, every thing is ,determinllte, every
thing is captivating; Ix 'wisbes it, it is necessary
for bim, it ii'ill form all addition fa bis happiness,
tbe efforts v.:e exert may serve to afford bim deligbt
a few of tbe da),. These motives are
sufficient to guide the whole train of our con·
duCt; then there is no uncertainty, no dis-
couragement; this single enjoyment of the
soul fills its utmost compass, grows as it ex-
tends, and proportioning itself to our faculties,
secures to us the exercise and the enjoyment
of them all. \Vhat superior mind can fail to
see in a real feeling of this nature the germ of
a greater number of thoughts than in any work
which he can either compose or read? The
greatest triumph of genius is to de:;cribe pJs.
sion: what then must be passion itself? The
gratifications of self-love, the utmost extent of
personal enjoyment, even glory, what are they
to the pleasure of being beloved? Ask any
one whether he would prefer to be Amenaide
or Voltaire? Ah! all these writers, these great
men, these conquerors, struggle to obtain a
:;ingle feeling of those exquisite emotions which
love diffuses in streams through life. Fear of
pain and of struggle are compensated by a
single day, a single hour of that del.iriuru which
sinks all our existence; and the. sentiment. durA
[ 133 J
ing its whole cantinuance, communicates atrain
of impressions as lively, and more pure, than
the crowning of Voltaire, * or the triumphs of
Alexander.
All indefinite enjoyments are from c:'xternal
objects. If we wish to c:'xperience the vaLue of
glory, we must see him we love honoured by
its splendour. If we are desirous to appreciate
the advantages of fortune, we must have con-
ferred our own on those we love. In a word,
if we \\ish to create the gift of lIfe a blessing,
the objeCt of our affection must live in our
existence, while we must consider ourselves as
the support of his happiness.
In whatever situation we may be placed by
a deep. rooted passion, I can never believe that
it misleads us from the path of virtue. Every
thing is sacrifice, every thing is indifference to
aliI' own gratifications in the exalted attachment
of love; selfishness alone degrades. Every thing
,
is goodness, every thing is pity in the heart that
truly loves. Inhumanity alone banishes all mo-
rality from the heart of man.
'" In the theatre at Paris, a distinction which s u c c ~ s s f u l
dramatic writers somdimcs attained.
,


L184 J
If there are in the universe two beings united
by a perfeCt sentiment of love, and should mar.
riage have bound them to each other, every
day on their knees let them bless the Supreme
Being. Let them look down on the universe
and its greatness. Let them view with asto·
nishment, let them cherish with anxiety, a hap.
piness which so many a c c i d ~ n t s must have con-
curred to bestow, a happiness which places them
at such an infinite distance from the rest of
mankind. Yes, let them view their Jot with
some degree of fearful apprehension. Perhaps
that their destiny may not be too far superior
to ours, they have already received all the ha p.
pi ness which we expeCt in another life. Per·
t:aps for them there is no immortality!
During my stay in England, 1 was acquainted
with a man of extraordinary merit, who for five
and twenty years had been united to a woman
worthy of him. One day, when we were taking
a walk together, \ve met some people of the
class which the English call gypsies, or Bohe-
mians, who wander about in the woods in the
most deplorable situation. I lamented thecon-
clition of people who thus were exposed to a
combination of all the physical ills of nature.
If };ot\\ ithstanding these distresses," said 1\11'.
L. to me, " if, in order to be united to l:er,
,
C135 J
(pointing to his wife) I had been ohliged to
abandon I1lvself to H\is situation, I should have
J
pegged my bread for thirty years, and after all
we should then have been happy!" "Oh! yes,"
exclaimed his wire, " even in that situation we
should have been the happiest of beings!"
These words are still impressed upon my heart.
How delightful that sentiment, which, even in
advanced life, inspires a passion perhaps more
profound than it excites even in youth, a pas.
sian which .colleers in the soul all that time has
robbed from the senses, a passion which turns
the whole of life into one single retrospeer, and
stri pping its last stages of aH gloom, unsocia.
lity, and indifference, secures us the -happiness
of meeting death in those arms which sustained
ollr youth, and entwined us ill the ardent em-

brares of lovl;'. What! in real life, in the
course of human things, can there exist such a
degree of happiness, and is the world -in general
clelwived of it, and are the circumstances on
which it :is founded almost never combined?
This combination is possi bJe, and yet to attain
it ourselves, perha ps, is beyond ollr power.
There arc kindred hearts; and chance and dis.
tance, and nature and society, separate for ever
those who would have loved each other through
their lives, and the same pall ers COllnCCl: ollr
fate with those who are unworthy of liS, \I hose


[ 136 ]
hearts are not in unison with ours, or who have
ceased to feel the delightful union.
In spite of this piaure which I have drawn,
it is, nevertheless, certain, that of all the pas-
sions, love is the most fatal to the happiness of
man. If we had the courage to die, we might
venture to indulge the hope of so delightful a
fate, but we our minds to the empire of
feelings which poison the rest of our life. For
some moments we enjoy a happiness which has
no correspondence with the ordinary state of
life, and we wish to survive its loss. The
instina' of self preservation is more power.
ful than the en'lotions of despair, and we can·
tinue to exist without being able to indulge the
hope of recovering in the future what the past
has taken from us, without being able to find
any reason to abandon our sorrow, either ill
the circle of the passions, in the sphere even of
a sentiment which, deriving its source in a real
principle, can admit of no consolation from re-
fie8ion. None men capable of resolving to
commit suicide, can with any shadow of wisdom,
venture to explore this grand patrl of happiness. *
'" I am afraid least I be accused of having, in the course
of tilis work, spoken of suicide as an act deserving of praise.
[ 137 J
But he who desires to live, and exposes himself
to the necessity of retreat; he who desires to
live, and yet renounces in any manner the em·
pire over his own mind, devotes himself, like a
madrilan. to the greatest of misfortunes.
. The majority of men, and even a great num.
bel' of women, have no idea of this sentiment,
such as I have described it ; and there are more
people qualified to appreciate the merit of N e w ~
ton than to judge of the real passion of love.
A kind of ridicule is attached to what are called
romantic sentiments; and those little minds,
who assign so much importance to all the details
of their self.love or of their in terest, have arro·
gated to themselves a superior degree of reason
to those whose charaCter hurries them into a dif.
ferent kind of selfishness, which society considers
with greater indulgence in the man who is occu·
pied exclusively with himselt: People of vigorous
••
I have not examined it in the ever respeC1able view of reli.
gious principles, but politically. I am persuaded that reo
publics ca,nnot forego the sentiment which prompted the
llncicnts to commit self-murder; and, in particular situa-
tions, passioJlale minds, which resigll themselves to the im-
pulse of their nature, require the projpect of thL resource,
t h ~ t t.hey may not b ~ driven to depravity in their misfor-
tunes; and still more, perhaps, they requile it during the cf.
fO'r1$ they exnt to aroid them.
l'
[ 138 J
understandings consider the lahours of thouglit.
the sen-ices dO;le to the human race, as alone
de;;erving of the esteem of men. There are
some geniuses who are entitled to consider
themselves as llseful to their fellow creatures;
but how very few can flatter themselves with
the of any thing more glorious ti;an
to constitute the happiness of another I Severe
moralists dread the wanderings of "uch a passion.
Alas in ollr days, happy the nation, happy
the individuals, that could h018t of men suscep-
tible of the impulse of sensibility! But, indeed,
so many fteetingemotions bear a to
love, so many attachments of quite a different
nature, among women from vanity, among
men from youth. take the appearance of
sentiment, that these degraded copies have al.
most entirely effaced the remembrance of the
real object. In a word, there are certain cha-
racters prone to love, who, deeply convinced
of the obstacles which oppose the happiness of
this passion, which thwart its perfection, and,
above all, threaten its permanence; and alarmed
at the irritability of their own hearts, and
those of others, rejeCt, with courageous reason
2nd timid sensibility, every thing that could
excite this passion. From all these causes arise
the errors adopted even by philosophers with
regard to the real importance of the attach.
mcnt of the heart, <lnd the unbounded tortures
which those who resign themselves to its guid.
ance are accustomed to experience.
It unfortunately is not true, that we are never
captivated but by tl:e qualities which bespeak a
certain resemblance of charaCter and senti.
ments. The charms of a seducing figure, that
species of advantage which permits the imagi-
nation to concC'ive all the beauties by which itis
captivated, and to see all the ex pression v. hich it
v.ishes, a8s powerfully upon an attachment \\' hich
cannot exist without enthusiasm. The grace of
manner, wit, language; in a word, grace, more
difficult to be defined than any other charm,
inspires this sentiment, which, at first over·
looked, frequently arises from something which
cannot be explained Such an origin canllot
secure either the happiness or the' uuration of a
connection. Yet when love exists, the illusioll
is complete, and notbing can equal the despair
excited by the certainty of having loved an ob.
jeCt ullworthy of tis. This fatal ray of light
darts in, and awakens reason before it has de.
tached the heart. HauntC'd by the opinion we
had formed, \\ hich we must now renOUllce, \\ e
still love while we cease to esteem. We aCt as
if there still were room for hope. In our tor.
ture, as if all hope had we cling to
,
the image which we ourselves have created.
'Ye hang upon those ft'atures which once we
considered as the emhlems of virtue, and we are
repulsed by something more cruel than hatred,
by the \\ant of every tender and profound emo-
tio;]. We ask if the object on which \\1" doat is
of another nature, if we are wild in "our pa-
roxysms. \\' e could \\ ish to persuade ourselves
that \\1" are distra{·ted, in order to belie the
judgment \\ I" pronounce on the heart of those
\\ e loved. T he past even no longer exists to
cteri,h our recolleEi ions. T he opinion we are
forced to adopt recurs to the moment when we
"ere deceived. We call to mind those inci-
dents \\ hich should have opened our eyes, and
then the misery we feel is di fJ'lIsed over every
moment of We; regret is conneCted \lith re-
morse and melancholy; the last hope of the
\\fetched can no more soften that repentance
which agitates and consumes our frame, and
renders ~ o l i t u d e :rightful,v,ithollt rendering us
capable of amusement.
If, on the contrary, there has been a single
moment of life in which we have bren beloved;
if the object on whom \\ e had fixed our choice
was generous, was in any respect sllch as we
had conceived him to be; and if time, the in-
constancy of the injaginatioll, which likewise
[ 141 J
loosens the attachments of the heart; or if an.
other objetl less \\ orthy of his tenderness has
deprived It"> of that love on which our whole ex-
istence depended, how agonizing arc the suffer.
ings which \Ie experience from this overthrow
of our scheme of life! How poignant the tor.
tures of that moment when the hand. which so
often' has traced the most sacred oaths of eter-
nal love, traces in characters, that stab to the
heart, the crnel intelligence, that we have ceased
to be the objects of alfection! Oh! how
ful, when comparing the lettels which the same
hand had written, our eyes can scarcely believe
that the dillerent periods at which they were
coIII posed, can alone ex plain the difference \
How our sensations, \\ hen that voice,
whose accents haunted us in solitude, thrilled
through our agitated soul, and seemed to recall
the fondest recollections; when that voice speaks
to us without elllotion, \vitholtt embarrassment,
witholtt betraying the slightest movement of
the heart! Alas! the passion we stilI long
renders it impossi ble to believe that we cease
to interest the object of our tenderness. We
seem to experience a sentiment which requires
to be conll,1Unicated, We imagine that we are
separated by a barrier independent of his \\ill;
that when we see, \V hen we speak to him, the
feelings of the past will revive; that he will

[ 1 4 ~ J
again yield to the tenderness he once expe.
rienced; we imagine that hearts, \V hich have
once completely unbosomed themselves, cannot
cease to cherish the ancient union; we imagine
that notliing can renew the impulse which we
alone possess the secret of bestowing; yet we
know that he is happy far from us, that he is
happy with the object least calculated to bring
back the recolleCtion of us. T he cords of sym-
pathy remain in our hearts, but those which
once vibrated in concert to them are annihi.
bted. We must for ever forego the sight of
him whose presence would renew our remem·
brance of the past, and \\' hose conversation
would render it still more poignant. "Ve are
condemned to wander over the scenes in \\ hich
he loved us, over those scenes that remain un-
altered, to attest the change which all the rest
has undergone. Despair is rooted in our hearts,
while a thousand duties, while pride itself im-
poses the necessity of concealment, and no out.
ward sign of \'oe must challenge the attention
of pity. Alone in secret, our whole being is
changed from life to death.
What consolation can the world afford to
grief like this? The courage of selfsl;lUghter !
But in this situation e\-en t he aid of this terri-
ble act is stripped of that consolation which it
C143 J
sometimes is supposed to bestow. The hope of
exciting the interest of others when we are no
more, that of immortality, is for ever torn
from her who nOlonger hopes that her death call Jd
inspire regret. It is indeed a most cruel death,
to oe unable either to affliCt, to punish, or to
engage the remembrance of the objet1 by whom
we are betrayed i and to leave him in the pos-
session of her whom he prefers, inspires a sen·
of anguish which extends beyond the
grave, as if this idea would haunt us even in its
fiilen t retreat.
Jealousy, that passion, in its nature terrible,
even \\hen it is not excited by love,
the soul frantic, when all the atfet1ions of the
heart are combined with the most acute resent-
me;its of self love. Love is not the only ingre.
dient of jealousy) as it is of the regret
we feel when we cease to be loved. Jealousy
inspires the thirst of vengeance; regret inspires
only the wish to die! Jealousy is a more pain-
ful situation, because it is composed of con-
flicting sensations; because it is discontented
'\ith itself. It repents of the past, it preys
upon itself, and the pain it occasions is support.
able onTy \\ hen it sinks into melancholy. The
OlffcCt ,on5 \\ hich urge to aCtivity in misfortune
increase the sufferings we endure by ever.,.

C1440 ]
movement we make to shun them. The affec.
tions which blend pride and tenderness are the
most cruel of alL The feelin gs of tenderness

v, hich we ex perience weaken the spring and
elasticity of pride; and the bitterness \\ hich it
inspires, poisons the sweets with which the sor-
rows of the heart are accompanied, even when
they are fatal.
Compared with the sufferings which senti.
occasion", the external circumstances
,'. hich may disturb the union of hC:lrts arc of
ilJferior importance. \Vhen we are separated
by abstacles {('feign to reci procal sentimen t,
we SUITer, no doubt, but we can Loth dwell
\\ ith pleasure on the cause, and utter our com-
plaints. The pain we feel is not conneCted
with the most secret sources of heart. It
may recur to external objeCts. l\evertheless,
100uis of a suhlime virtue have ex perienced in
themselves invincible struggles. Clementina
may be fcund in relll life the viCtim of her pas·
sian, instead of triumphant. It is thllS, in dif.
ferent dt'grees, th:lt love overt!iJ'C1wS the happi-
ness of those \', ho experience its influence.
There is another calamity which the mind
shudders to contcmplate, and this is tile violent
105s of the objeCt we love, that terrible
[ 145 ]
tion which daily threatens every thing that
breathes, every thing that lives under the em-
pire of·death. Alas! this sorrolV. which admits
no limits, is the most formidable of all How
could we survive the objeCt by whom we weloe
,
beloved, the obje'5J: we had chosen as ti,e ,tay of
our life; him who inspired that lave which ani.
mates a chara,qer all formed for its domiijio.J ?
What! could we exH in a world which he no
longer ill!:ai,its, endure the lap,e of time which
no morc brings back his delightful society, to
live Oll the memory of the part gOlle without
return, to hear in imagination that voice whose
last accents were direCted to us, to recall in

vain that being who was the half of our sOill, and
to reproach him with the agitation of that heart
which the touch of his beloved hand never more
shall warm!
The observations I have made apply almost
equally to the two sexes. It remains for me to
consider what relates pecuIiJrly to liS. 0 woo
men! ye viCtims of that temple in which yOll
are said to be adored, listen to me!
Nature and society have disinherited one half
of the human species. Strength, courage, ge.
nius, independence, all belong to men; and if
V
-c 146 J
they surround our youthful years with their
homage, it is to procure the amusement of over-
turning our empire. They aCt just as we do
when \\e permit children to command, certain
that they cannot compel us to obey. It is true,
the love which they inspire gives to women a
momentary absolute power; but it is in the whole
system of life, in the course even of the passion
itself, that their destiny resumes its inevitable

empIre.
Love is the sole passion of women. Ambi.
t:on, e \ " ( ~ n the love of glory, are 50 little suited
to their nature, that very few of them tum
their attention to these objects. In speaking
or vanitv, I have observed, that for one who
-
rises superior, a thousand degrade themselvelO
below their sex, when they quit its proper
sphere. S<:arcely can the interest of love ex.
tend·to the half of life; thirty years remain be.
hind when its existence is already finished. The
-
history of the life of women is an episode in
that of men. Reputation, honour, esteem,
every thing depends upon the conduct which
women in this conneCtion observe; while even
the laws of morality, according to the opinion of
an unjust world, seem suspended in the inter-
course of men with the fair sex. They can
p:lSS for virtuous, although they have caused
[ 147 J
the most cruel plins which human power can
_produce in the soul of another. They may
pass for honest, although they may have de.
ceived the fair sex. In a word, they may have
received fr0111 a woman such marks of attach.
ment as would bind to each other two friends,
tIVO companions in arms, and which would dis-
grace the party who "hould prove himself cap-
able of forgetting them. They may have reo
ceived these from a woman, and disengage
themselves from t he obligation, by imputing all
to love; as if one feeling, one additional gift,
diminished the value of all the rest. No dO!lbt
there are men whose charaClel' forms an ho.
nourable exception to the observation; but such
is the general opinion in this repect, that there are
very few who could dare to profess, without the
dread of ridicule, that delicacy of principle in
the attachments of the heart, \II hich a woman
would conceive herself obliged to affect, if she
did not feel its force.
It may be said that the tie of duty is of little
importance to confirm the force of sentiment;
that while the latter continues, it requires no
aid from the former; and that it ceases to exist,
when it mllst rely upon the support of duty.
It is not p e r f e ~ t l y true, however, that in the

morals of the human heart attachment ill

[ 148 ]
never strengthened by duty. There may be
many in :erva[s in the course of a p3ssioll when
a sen"e of morality secures those tirs "liich the
wanderings of imagination might relax. In.
dissoluble ties present obstacles to the free
choice of the heart; but a complete indepen.
dence renders a pernjanent attachment almost
impossible. To agitate and to interest the
heart, the memory of former scenes are some-
times necessar.... The remembrance of former

interesting eyell ts, ho\\ ever, cannot produce
this effeCt upon thooe \\ ho imagine that the
past has no right over the future, upon those
\\ ho do not admi t gratitude to be in sonfe
the firm harrier which p,'events the
fluctuation of taste from becoming capricioll&
change. In every thing ill \\ hich the imagina.
tion is concerned there are ebbs and flows of
kindness and of feeling, and if tbese intervals
were not filled I:p by son.elhing of po\\erful
tie, tlie a:tarhn,cnt by \\hich souls are united
would often le entirely dissolved.
In a word, women are bOllnd hy the sym.
pathies of tlie heart; but wit h men these ties
are not so sacred. This circumstance i" an
to the perm:mcnce of attachment 011
the side of the men; for where the heart recog-
nizes no duty, the imagination requires to be.
[ J
agitated; while, at the same time, the men call
rely upon the fidelity of women from causes
different from the opinion they entt'rt<\in of their
warm They rely upon their lide-
lity, because they esteem them, because they
are aware that the iIll pulse which promrJts them
to court the support of the man they love) is
occasioned by motives distinCt from the mere
passion which they feel. This certainty,
t;onfidence which indolence loves so much,
often is repUlsive to vigorous minds. Indolence
is pleased to indulge itself, aCtivity and force
delight to encounter obstacles. In the
and opposite sOtirces of pleasure, tbell) whiGh,
man wishes to combine, and on which he wishes
to rear his happiness, the more that nature has
done to promote his success, the more he covets
obstacles to rouse his aCtivity. Women, On the
contrary, declining an authority which has no
real foundation, seek a master, and fondly reo
sign themselves to his protection, From this
fatal disposition it often happens, that women
who love without re!'>erve, at length disgust
instead of pleasing, and lose the a bjecl: of their
passion by the ex.cess of their attachment.
If they rely upon their beauty fOl' the perJ
manence of their lover's attachment) they may
easily be disappointed. Beauty has no certalll

[ 150 ]
superIority. The charms of a new face may
break the fiweetest ties by \'1 hich the heart is
bound. The advantages of an elevated mind
and distinguished powers may for a time at.
traAt by their Rplendour, but they ultimately
repel alI who do not rise to the same eminence.
As \\ omen, too, arc inclined to admire those
they love, the men are fond of displaying to
their mistresses the superiority of their talents,
till the \'Ioman, at last, hesitates in the choice
between the elIlIui of a common urderstanding
and the arrogance of superior enCOWl1ients.
Self-love, which society, which general opi.
nion have intimately conneCted \\ ith love, is
scarce! I' affeBed in the intercourse of men with
J
the fair sex. The \\oman who proves faithless

to her lover, degrades herself in his estimation
by the infidelity she commiJs, and his heart is
cured by the contempt for her which he feels.
Pride,hO\\ever, in the case of women, aggravates
the sufferings which love infliCls. The passion
itself gives the wound, but self.love pours into
it the poison. The surrender of herself, in the
eyes of a woman so precious a gift, inspires re-
n,orse and shame when she ceases to be be-
loved; when the grief which infidelity ex-
cites, at first the only sensation of which the

mind is conscious, seel<s relief from other re-
,
C151 J
flections. Men who are the viClims. of incon·
stancy are consoled by the hopes of the future;
women, on the contrary, are plunged into de.
spair when they turn their eyes to futurity, and
the collateral disadvantages which, when [01:'-
sakel1, they experience. multiply the sources of
their misery.
There may be women whose hearts have lost
all sense of delicacy. Such wonlen are alike
unacquain ted \\ ith love and with virtue. There,
are, however, among those women, who alone
ought to be accounted the sex, some who expe·
rience a prodigiolls difference in the intercourse
they maintain with men. The affeClions of their
heart are rarely renewed by new objeCls. In·
valved in the mazes of error, when they have
been betrayed by the guide to whom they
trusted, they can neither renounce a sentiment,
the miseries of which they have experienced,
nor open their hearts to love, by which they
have been so cruelly tormented. Their life is
blackened by a misery which has no limits, no
end, no cessation. Some sink into degrada.
tion, others seck relief in a sentiment more
allied to devotion than calm virtue.
All bear, ill some way or other, the.fatal stamp
of wretchedness. Meanwhile men command
armies or gorcrn empires, and scarce even reo


[ J52 J
co11eCl: the name of her whom they have Call'
si£ned to misel'I'; the smallest feelin 0' of friend.

ship retains more impression lIpon their hearts
than the most ardent passion. The circum-
stance of their connection muy be guite blotted
out from their memory; while the woman who

possessed their affection is Goomed to pine over
the fatal The imaginatiol) of men
has gained a complete triumph in gaining the
heart of a \\oman ; while the regret which she
endures admits of no \.Onsolation. 1\Ien have
but m,e ohjeCl: in love, while the permanence
of the sentiment is the basis on which the hap.
piness (If the woman depenr.s. In a word, mea
are loved, because they lo\'e. \\'omen ought to
dread, t1:erefore, cit once the sentiment \\ hich
maya: ise in ti:eir own minds, un\! the passion
\\ hich, in tl:e heart of another, may atrract
their sympathy, and terminate in an attach.
ment by which their peace is destroyed.
0, ill fated mortals! ye whose hearts are de-
licately sensible to this passion! you expose
yourselves defenceless in a contest where the
men appear armed at every point. Remain in
the c:Jrrer of virtue; continue under its power.
ful n: otec:ion: within its sphere you \\ ill en-
joy the surest safeguards; within its sphere yotl
will be secured by impregnable bulwarks. But
[ ISS J
if yO'.1 resign yourselves to the passion of love,
recollect ,hat are not fettered by pll blic
opinion; th;:t they can ?:overn their OWll hearts;
that tbey witt poison yonI' happiness for ever,
to a llceting passion.
It is not by declining that station which so.
Ciety has assigned them that women can escape .
misery. Nature, still more imperiollsly than
the laws of mall, has fixed theil' destinv. Re-

signing the hope of their affeCtion, lllllst we
enter the lists as their rivals, und tempt their
hatred because we must forego their love r A
woman has duties to perform; she has children
to rear. A mother possesses that sublime 5en·
timent which is rewarded by the pleasure it
bestows, and by the hope with which it is ever
accompanied.
The woman who has been so fortunate tis to
meet with a lover activity of mind is
connected with sensibility; a man who cannot
endure the thought of rendering a human being
wretched, and who combines honour with good.
ness of heart; who is faithful when no ties of
public opinion fortify his fidelity, and who
places the true enjoyment of love in const:ll1cy,
has obtained a felicity with which nothing can
compare. The woman who is the only favou-
x
C154 J
rite or such a man may enjoy a happiness which
sets all systems of reason at defiance. But
since, even in the course of such an attachment,
there are moments in which virtue is offended,
where is the woman who, after the age of the
passions is gone, would not congratulate her.
self on having escaped their influence? Who
would compare the tranquillity with which the
sacrifice of them is attended with the regret of
disappointed hope? How bitterly must a wo-
man ree:ret that she has ever loved; that she
~
has ever experienced that desolating sentiment.
which, like the burning sands of Africa.
parches the flower, blasts the stem, and leaves,
a withered trunk, the tree which ought to
spread its blossoms to the air. and shoot its
hranches to the sky!
( 155 ]
CHAP. V.
OF GAHlNG, AVARICt, DRUNKEN'NESS. &c.
AFTER having discussed that fatal and su.
blime sentiment \\ hich conneCts the happiness
or misery of our life with a single object, I pro-
ceed to speak of a kind of passions which con-
demn man to the yoke of selfish and ignoble sen-
sations. These passions ought not to be
ranged in the class of those which are supported
by some internal feelings. Nothing, indeed,
can be more repugnant to the pleasures which

arise from the govern ment of ourselves than
subjeCtion to selfish desires. In this situation,
however, if we rely upon fortune, we expect
nothing from opinion, from the regard, from
the sentiments of mal)kind. In this view, as
there is more independence, there ought to be
more happiness. Nevertheless, these degrad.
ing propensities bestow no real enjoyment;
they subjeCt us to a gross instina, and expose to
an equal chance of disappointment with more
elevated desires.
[ IS6 j
In the::e low passions we may discover the chao
racter of moral alfe,! ion;. degenerated into physi-
cal impulse. Libertines, drunkards, gnmesters,
misers, are sulject to t\\O kinds of illlpulsej self-
hlmes;;, and the necessity of being excited. In
m('ral pass:ons, h011 ever, we cannot 1:e in: erested
hut bv ti,e of the soul, and even the

sel;';sh prtof cannot be s:ltisned hut in ;,ol11e
relation \Iith others; wl,ile the ouly advantage
of these phy;.ical passions ill the agita-
tion \\ hich suspends fee1!ng and tho,:ght. They
,
crr"te, :lS it were, a kind of di;;tinct material
existence, which springs from ourselves, antL
rett;rns to ourselves again; and gives. to the
anim:l! part of man the ascendant over every
other part ot his nature.
In spite of the disgl;st which such a subject
inspires, let us eXilu,ine, hO\lever, these two
principles of the the necessity of being
excited, :md celnshlless. The produces the
lo\'e of ::::aIJling, a;.d the secone! aV:lrice. AI·
• •
though \i e "lIouId be led at fi rst to S\l ppose that,
to be addicted to iCaming, we must be fond of
money, tl.is is by no 1I,eans the source of this
ext:'a\':lgant The elementary cause,
ti:e oaly thing, perbaps, \\birh constitutes the
enjoyment of all the passions, consists ill the
desire and the pleasure \\ hich the emotions of
the soul, when excited, beotow. The only
good II !lich we dMovcr in life is something
which produce":lIl of ex'stence; and if
this emotion and thi,; COUld he a dur-
nhle state of mind, ve.-y fell philnsophers would
hesit:lte to agree th3t it II auld Lc the sovereign
good. There are, and in the third part of this
\lork I shall endeavour to prove it, lIsrful and
constarlt distractions, which the man II' ho governs
himself always possesses. But the great mass
of passion::lc beings, to esrape from that
common enemy, the burdensome feeling of life,
plunge into an intoxication, which, confounding
every thiilg, destroys the reality of all around
us. In the moment of emotion, jlldf:meut is
silenced; nothing hut hope and fcar are heard.
We experience something agreeable in the in-
dulgence of the reveries into which we are
thrown; the boundaries of nature are removed,
things the most extraordinary appear
and the lilliits of the present and of the future
recede or vaaish before ollr eyes. In the tu-
mult and ra pid succession of the sensations which
occupy the mind in a state of violent agitation,
the very magnitude ot' the danger is a pleasure
during the continuance of the action. It, no
dou bt, is a very painful sensation to dread the
approach of danger, while we see it :ldvancing.
It is a kind of torture when we are at ease.
C158 J
. Gaming, however painful the sensation may be
at the moment the stake is hazarded, is a kind
of enjoyment, or rather a kind of intoxication.
This state of mind sometimes becomes so ne.
cessary to those \Vh:> experience it, that we see
seafaring people volulltarily traverse the ocean
to court the of those dangers fr0111
which they have escaped•

The great game of glory is difficult of access;
a green cloth and a pair of dice furnish a substi·
tute. The agitation of the mind is a deceitful
feeling, to \, hich many men abandon themselves
without refleCting upon the-state which succeeds.
They stake the fortune by which they subsist.
They rush into battle, where death, or wounds
not less dreadful, threaten them, and all to be
freed from refleCtion and from prudooce, to gain
of an instantaneous existence, in
which to cease to think is happiness.
What a melancholy charaCter of k.man des.
tiny! What invincible proof of the wretched-
ness of Ollr lot, to find that we are ;mpelled to
deviate from the natural course of human life,
to intoxicate the faculties by which we judge of
its value! The restlessness of individuals dis.
turbs the whole world, and those innumerable
armies which cover the surface of the earth, arc

( 159 J
the cruel inventions by which soldiers, generals,
kings, and statesmen endeavour to find in life
something which nature has withheld, or to ob.
tain some suspension of habitual ideas, and to
excite that emotion which enables us to endure
the burden of existence.
But, independently of all we sacrifice and all
we hazard for the chance ofsuch an enjoyment,
there is nothing more painful than the state of
mind which succeeds the emotion of which we
have spoken. The vacuum it leaves behind it
is a greater evil than the privation of the object
in the pursuit of which we were agitated. It ii
much more insupportable for a gamester to
cease to play than to lose his money. The Ian·
guage applied to the other passions is often
borrowed from this, because gaming is a ma-
terial image of all the sentiments which the
greatest circumstances call forth. Thus the
love of play assists us to form an idea of the love
of glory, and the love of glory in its turn ex;.
plains the love of play.
Whatever establishes analogies and resem·
blances is a proof of the truth of a general sys-
tem, If we could succeed in conneCting the
moral nature with the physical system, the
'l'rhole universe with one chain of thought, we
-

[ 160 ]
should almost have unveile.d the mystery of the
Divinity.
:I\Tost men, then, endeavour to seek happi.
ness in agitation, that is, in a rapid sensation,
\\ hich cuts' uff protl a<:ted expeCtation. Others,
again, from cl.oice and from disposition, attach
themselves to the gratification of selfishness.
Discontented with their relations and \', ith man-
kind, they i l l l a g i n ~ that, by dirdting all their
pursuits to themselves, tl;ey ha\e disCOVLTcd
th:.' secret oi' happiness, \\ ithout comidcrillg tLat
it is liOt only frol11 the uatIlre of the yoke, out
from entire dependence upon bimself, that the
misery of man arises.
Of all the passiuns, avarice is that which gives
the most scope to selfishness. To love lIloney,
in order to attain some cbject, is to consider it
as means not as an end. There arc men, how·
ever, \\ ho consider wealth as a mean of
purchasing enjoyment, yet refuse to taste it.
Pleasures of every kind must lead us to the so.
ciety of other s, \\ bile the pO"l'er of enjoying
them depends upon our"e!ves, and we throw
off some of our selfishness by gratifying it with
externalohjeCts. :i\Jisfrs are so fearful of the
future, t ~ , a t they \\ jll sacrifice the present no
less than the most elevated virtue. The sel-
-
[ 161 J
fishness of such men is so great, that at last it
sacrifices itself to itself. It loves itself so much
to-morrow, that it daily deprives itself of every
thing which can throw a charm on the day which
succeeds. As all those sentiments to which the
of passion belongs devour even the
object to which they are direCted, selfishness de·
strays the comfort which it wishes to preserve,
avarice denies all the advantages which mo-
ney can procure.
I shall not dwell upon the miseries which
avarice occasions. We can discover no degrees,
no shades in this singular passion. Every part
of it is equally vile and miserable. The idea of
this extravagant selfishness is almost inconceiv-
able. How difficult to imagine a life which is
wholly wrapped up in ourselves! How can men
choose themselves as the objeCl: of their passion,
without admitting some intermediate being be-
tween the object and themselves?
There is so much uncertainty in what they
desire, something so repUlsive in the feeUngs
they experience, that wc can hardly conceive
how men can have the courage to aCt, when
their aCtions follow constantly their
and their sensations their actions: they must
kno\\' positively the poor reward of their aCtivity
y
. [ 162 J
and the real YUlue of their efforts. How can
men exist \\ ithout lJein g useful. and take the
u
trouble to live, \\ ben they know nobody will
grieve \\ hen they die?
If the miser, if the selfish. are capable of these
reflecting intervals, there is a particular kind of
'ITeteheel nes, incidcnt to such charaAers from
"hich they cannot escape. They fear death as
if they could enjoy life. After hav;ng sacrificed
their present comfort to tlleir future prospect,
they feel a kind of rage \'.hen thty see the period
of their existence approaching. The affeCtions
of the to the value (,flife, while they di.
mini!; the Litterness of death. Every thing sel.
fish, ;10','. c '.:r, poisons life, und embitters its ter-
mination. In a \\oro,sell1sb passions are as much

a slanr)' as those whieh render us dependent
uron others. They render it equally difficult for
us to acquire the government of ourselves, while
i: is in the free and constant exercise of this self
governmtnt that repose and happiness consist.
The pa<csions which degrade man, by giving
a turn of selfi>,hness to all his sensations, do not,
it is true, produce those ravages and revolu.
tions in his soul which inflic1 the sharpest mi.
sery it is possible to experience. The suffering,,;
occasioned by low however, admit
[ 163 J
of no consolation. The disgust with which
they inspire others extends even to the person
in whom they Nothing in can
be more wretched than to feel that wc cannot
contemplate our own situation as truly deserv-
ing of interest. \Ve are wrctched, and yet feel
no sympathy in our own breast. There is some-
thing cold in our whole frame, a sentiment of
perfect solitude, and the impressions of grief
are soothed by no consolatory reflections. There
is nothing in the past, nothing in the future,
nothing around us, to mitigate our suffering.
We are unhappy, but without being able to de.
rive aid from our own minds, without daring, t9
reflect upon the different causes of our misery,
without the support of any great retrospect on
which misery can dwell with complacency.


[ 165 J
CHAP. VI.
OF ENVY AND REVENGE.
THERE are passions which have no precise
objeCt: and yet embrace a great part of life.
They exert an infl uence upon life without di.
recting it; and we often sacrifice happiness to
their negative power. It is not their charac-
ter to dazzle us with the sweet illusions of hope
and of futurity j they only seek the gratifica-
tion of that fierce sentiment which they inspire.
These passions seem to be composed of the
wrecks of all the other passions when disap-
pointed. Of this number and description are
ENVY and REVENGE.
ENVY promises no enjoyments; not even
those which terminare in misery. The man
who is a viCtim to this disposition sees in the
world many more subjects of envy than really
exist. To be at once happy and superior is his
objeCT, and the value of his situation must
be ascertained by the envy which it inspires.
Envy is a principle) the objeCt of which is some
C166 J
torment, and it exercises the power of imagina-
tion, that faculty which is inseparablefrom pas-
sion, upon one single distressing idea.
The passion of envy has no limits, because
it has no end. It never cools, because it is not
connetled \\ ith any enthusiasm. It f e e d ~ only
upon its own venomous nature; and the effeCts
it produces augment its inveteracy. The man
who hates another without cause, soon inspires
an irritation which may give a pretence to that
hatred which at first was unjust.. Poets have
exercised their fancy in dhiplaying in every
point of view, and under various aspeCts, the
miseries of envy. How lamentable, indeed,
that passion which feeds upon itself, and haunt·
ed by the image which inspires its torture, can
find nothing to bestow consolation! Manifold
as are the evils of life, we should be led to think
that every occurrence which takes place is calcu-
lated to afford enjoyment to envy. This passion,
however, is fastidious, and never thinks the cala-
mities \\ hich happen sufficient to administer en·
tire satisfaCtion. If there remains any consolation
in misery, any hope amidst misfortunes, to the
wretchd, the envious man still detests and pines.
To feed his hatred" he discovers in everysituatioll
advantages which the wretched themselves do
[ 167 ]
not feel. To remove the cause of his sufferings,
the enviolls man mllst be superior, beyond all
competition, in his fortune, his talents, his
happiness; and yet, on the contrary, he feels
that no torments can equal the cold and blasting
influence of his ruling passion. In a word,
envy derives its source from that terrible senti·
ment of the human mind by which men detest
to see the happiness they do not enjoy, and
prefer the equality of Hell to the division of
ranks in Heaven. Glory, virtue, genius, are
assailed and broken down by this destructive
power. Its influence is supreme. It limits the
efforts und checks the flights of human nature.
Those who blame, those who thwart, those who
oppose, in a word, those who employ this de·
struEtive power, are sure to triumph.
But the mischief which the envious man pro-
,
duces does not bestow a adequate to his
wishes: every day chance or nature raise up
new enemies against him. In vain he pursues
them with unrelenting malice: his success
brings him 110 joy; he feels himself iuferior to
what he he is jealous or what he im-
molates; he is humbled. eveu in his Oll'll esti-
IIllltion ; and this torment is encreascd Lj' every
"Hort lie makes to escape from scourge.
[ 168 J
There is another passien, the fury of which
is terrible, and more formidable in the present
times than at any other. This passion is RE-
VENGE. That it is attended, in its gratifica.
tion, by positive happiness cannot be doubted,
as it owes its birth to some misery which is mi-
tigated when it is extended to the cause from
which it springs. There is not a man \\ ho has
not, at some period 0: his life, experienced the
feelings of revenge. It springs direCtly fr0111
justice, though its effec1s are often so repug-
nant to this principle. To do to others the evil
they have done to us, at first appears an equi-
table maxim. That this passion is natural,
hO\',"c\,e1', renders its consequences neither l e ~ s
ferniciolls nor less criminal. Reason is parti-
cubrIy intended to oppose those involuntary
movements, which lead to a culpable objeCt;
for reflection is no less natural than the impulse
of pa:,sion.
It is certain, that we can with difficulty at
first sustain the idea that the person that has
plunged l:S into despair i ~ happy. This ohjeJ:
haunts the mind, in the same manner as, by a
contrary process, the sentiment of pity con-
jures 11p the SUfferings which it prompts to reo
line. The contrast of our misery, and the hap-

[ 169 J
piness of our enemy, produce a violent agita-
tion of the spirits.

In misfortune too it is extremely painful to
~ n d l l r e the prevalent or exclusive attention
which a single idea Obtains. Every thing which
carries our thoughts to external objeCts, every
thing that stimulates to action, beguiles sorrow.
In action, it seems as if the situation of OUf
mind we'c changed; and re;;entment or indig-
nation at guilt bring at first the most promi-
nent features in the sorrow which we feel, we
imagine that, by gratifying these emotions,
we escape from all those which would have suc·
ceeded.
If we observe a generous and feeling heart,
however, we shall. find that revenge, instead of
allaying misery, renders it more violent than
before. The activity which the feeling of re-
sentment employs, the effort we exert to subdue
it, fill the mind in a variety of ways. After
~
having inflicted vengeance, sorrow remains
alone, with no idea but that of pain. By reo
venge we place our enemy upon a kind of equa-
lity with ourselves. We relieve him from the
weight of our contempti we are brought nearer
to the level by the very act of punishing. If
the effort we employ to revenge ourselves proves
z '
[ 170 ]
abortive, our enemy then possesses that ad.
vantage over us, which impotent attempts.;
be their object what it may, never fail to con.
fer. Every kind of error is excusable under
real grief; but that revenge is greatly allied to
culpable emotions is proved by this considera.
tion, that it is much more rare to inflict ven·
geance, from the sensibility of our feelings than
from the spirit of party or from self. love.
Generous minds, that have yielded to crimi.
nal passio11S, have done a prodigious injury to the
dignity of morality. They have combined ele.
vated principles with great faults j and the very
meaning of words is changed by the accessory
ideas which their example inspires. The same
terIi1S express the assassination of C ~ s a r and' of
Henry IV. and those great men, who claimed the
right of dispensing with a law of morality; and
mak.ing it give way to their sublime intentions.
have done more mischief by the latitude they
have gi\'en to the idea of virtue, than the exe-
crated villains whose aCtions have encreased the
horror \\hich guilt inspires. In a word, what·
ever motives incite us to revenge, those who
are tempted to yield to its impulse should never
forE'et, not only that it can never confer happi.
ness, and this they know too well; but they
should also remember, that no political scourge
can be more formidable.
[ 171 J
This passion is calculated to perpetuate the
calamity which the original offence occasions,
even to the end of the human race; and during
those periods when the madness of party hur-
ries men, in the strictest sense, beyond the
bounds of virtue, of reason, and of themselves,
r.evolutions never terminate till every individual
~ e a s e s to be agitated by the necessity of pre-
venting or avoiding the eflects of revenge.
\Ve flatter ourselves that the fear of punish.
ment may prevent violent men from proceeding
to certain excesses; and in this opinion we be-
tray our ignorance of the nature of the impulse.
When men are coolly criminal, as they always
weigh circumstances, such dangers, such addi.
tional obstacles may arrest their purpose. But
passionate men, \V ho rush headlong into revolu.
tions, are irritated, even by fear, if their oppo-
~ l e n t s inspire this emotion. Fear stimulates
instead of repressing impetuous characters.
There is one reflection which ought to, serve
as a guide to those who mingle in the great con-
tests of men, which is, that they ought to COIl-
sider their enemies as of tbeir own nature.
Unfortunately the nature of man is displayed
even in the villain; and yet we never sufficiently
:wail ourselves of self-knowledge, in order the
[ 172 ]
better to divine the views of others. \Ve say
it is necessary to constrain, to humble, to pu.
nish; ana yet we know that sinliJar proceedings
wsuld produce, on our minds, only the most ir·
reconcilrable animosity. \\e n>l,slder our ene-
m:es as a physical force. ,\ hkh may be reo
pressed, and ourselves as mond beings that can
be governed only by our own wiil.
If there be any passion destructive to the hap.
piness, and even" the existence of free countries,
it is revenge. The entl!!.s!asm which liberty
inspires, the ambition which it excites, give a
stronger impulse to human character, and pro.
duce more occasions on which men are epp051.'d
to each ether. The love of their countr)',
among the Romans, was so greatly superior to
every oti1er pas"ion, that private enemies served
t o g e t h ~ T , and with a common consent, the in-
terests of the republic. If revenge is not pro-
scribed by public spirit, in a country where
every individual exerts the whole force of his
pers')nal charaCter, whtre despotism not Gcing
employed to restrain the mass, every man has
a particular value and importance, individuals
\\il1 come to hate all other individuals; and the
spirit of pnrty, giving way;O:1 proportion as new
even ts create new divisions, there will not,
alter:t certain time, a single man be found, who
( 173 ]
does not feel motives to detest successively all
those with whom he has been acquainted in the
course of his life.
Surely France, then, might display the fairest
example which can be conceived of foregoing
revenge, if animosity would cease to renew
revolutions, if the French name, from pride
and from patriotism, would rally all t h o ~ e
who are not too criminal to permit their own
hearts to form the idea of pardon. Surely this
would be a heroic oblivion; but it is so ex-
tremely necessary, that though aware of its as.
tonishing difficulty, we are compelled to hope
that it will succeed. France can only be saved
by means of this mutual forgiveness; and the
partizans of Ii berty, t h ~ lovers of the arts, the
admirers of genius, those who are attached to a
benignant climate and a fertile soil, all who
can think, who must feel, all who wish to live,
to encrease the stock of their ideas, or to cherish
tlH:ir sensation, loudly implore the salvation of
}'rance•

[ 175 ]
CHAP. VII.
OF THE SPIRIT OF PARTY.
WE Inust have witnessed some political or
religious revolution, in order to be acquainted
with the full force of this passion. It is the only
one which does not display its power equally in
all times and in all countries. This sentiment
must be developed by a kind of fermentatioll.
occasioned by some extraordinary events.
Though the germ of it exist in the minds of a
great number of men, it may perish with them
before any occasion has ever occurred to call it
into aCtion, and to prove its existence.
Any trifling quarrels, such as disputes upon
music, upon literature, may furnish some slight
idea or the nature of the spirit of party. It does
not exist, however, in all its force j it does not
constitute that devouring infl uence which con-
sumes generations and empires, but amidst
great contentions, in which the imagination can
find, in their utmost extent, all the motives of
enthusiasm and of animosity.
[ 176 J
First of all, we ought to distinguish the spirit
of p:::rty lrom self· i,.ve, which attaches a man
to the opinion which he maintains. It diilers
fr0111 the latter so widely, that the two propen-
sities 1my be placed in
M. de Concorret, a man of various celebrity,
hact precise'y the of the spirit of party.
friends declare, that he would have written
against his own opinion, that he would have
disavowed and openly attacked it, without can-
fidi!lg to any o:;e the secret of his exertions, if
he had imagined that this expedient could con-
tribute to the triumph of the opinion he sup.
ported. Pride, emulation, revenge, fear, as-
sume the disgi.Jise of tbe spirit of party: but
this passion by itself is more ardent; it inspires
fanaticism, and prescribes the law to every man
on whom it Iuys its influence.
Indeed, \\hat in the world can be more vio-
lent and more blind than these two sentiments?
During the ages that were distracted Ly reli.
gious quarrels, We bave seen obscure men,
without any idea of glory, without any hope of
being known, employ all their efforts" brave all
dangers, to serve the cause which they had em·
braced. A much greater number of
mingle in political contests, because in objeCts
of this nature all the passions combine with the
C177 J
spirit of party, and range themselves on the
one side or the other. Pure fanaticism, how-
ever, in every age, and for any objeCt what·
ever, exists only in a certain number of men,
who would have been Catholics or Protestants
in the fifteenth century, and now arc Aristo.
crats or Jacobins. These are credulous spirits,
whether they passionately espouse or attack old
errors; and their violence, without any check,
compels them to settle in the extremes of all
ideas, in order to allow their judgment and
their character to rep?se.
What is called philosophy, when enflUllled to

an extraordinary pitch, becomes a superstition,
as \veIl as the worship of prejudices. The same
defeets lead to contrary excesses; and it is the
difference of situations, or the chance of the
first direction, which, in the ordinary class,
turns t \ ~ o party men either into enemies or
associates.
,
The man of eulightened mind, who at first
embraced the cause of principles, because his
.understanding could not descend to respect abo
surd prejudices, \\ hen he adopts a truth with
the spirit of party, loses ~ h e faculty of reasoning,
as well as the :>upporter of error, and very SOOll
employs similar means in its defence. In the

-
C178 J
same manner as we have seen atheism preached
up with the intolerance of superstition, the
spirit of party prescribes liberty with the fury
of despotism.
It has often been said, in the course of the
French revolution, that Aristocrats andJacobins
held the same language, were equally positive
in their opinions, and, according to the diffe-
rence of their situations, adopted a system of
conduct equally intolerant. This remark must
,
be considered as a natural consequence of the
same principle. The passions bring men to a
state of mutual resemblance, as a fever throws
different constitutions into the same situation;
and of all the passions, the most uniform in its
effects is the spirit of party.
,
It seizes upon the mind like a kind of dicta·
tm'ship, which silences every other authority of
the understanding, of reason, and of sentiment.
Under this yoke while it continues. men are
less unhappy than when the other passions pre-
serve their uncontrouled sway. In this state,
the path to be pursued is prescribed as the end
that must be attained. Men, under the in-
ti uence of this passion, are unalterable even in
,
the choice of their means: they will not consent
to modify them, even to gain their objeCt more
[ 179 J
securely. The leaders, as in religious parties,
are more able, because they"are less enthusiastic.
But the disciples make the mode, as well as the
end, an article of faith. The means must be
suited to the cause, because this calise, appear-
ing to be truth itself, must triumph only by
evidence and by force. I proceed to illustrate
tHis idea by examples.

In the Constituent Assemhly, the members
of the right side of the Hall might have carried
some of the decrees in which they were inte-
rested, if they had allowed men more moderate
than themselves to speak: but they preferred
losing their cause, by committing it to the sup-
port of the Abbe Maury, to gaining it, byal.
lowing its defence to be conducted by a speaker
who was not quite of their opinion in several
other respeCts.
A triumph gained by a compromise is a de-
feat to the spirit of party.
When the Constitutionalists contended against
the Jacobins, if the Aristocrats had adopted the
system of the former, if they had advised the
King to put himself in their hands, they might
then have overthrown the common enemy,
[ 180 ]
without losing the hope of one day ridding
themseh'es of their allies.
In the spirit of party, however, men prefer
falEn£r, if they can involve their enemies in
.
ovcrti1row, to a triulllph in cunjunClion
,\ ith an v of them.

"\Yhen, by activity at elections, the Aristo.
Ci"::lts might have influemed the choice of tl:e
.
men upon whom the fate of Franre \\ as to de·
pen d, they preferred e" posing it to the) oke of
a number of abandoned men, to recognizing
any of the principles of the revolution, by vot.
ing in the Primary Assemblies.'>'
The purity of a dogma is deemed of more
importance than the sucees" of the cause.
The more the spirit of party if, sincere, the
less disposed it is to admit of conciliation or
.. Tile spirit of p:lrty, however, seems last to h:l\·e
gi.. en -c. c,y to ,,",otives of prudence. The activi,y of ti,e
roy:Jim !'l t:,e election.' gave that preponderance to the
party which l;nely threatened to UVCf-
throll prtient constitution of hunce. 111 all plans
o{ ro ha\'c disco\'crcd, it is recom-

to the: partizan3 of tho: endeavour to sway
.
t
' C
•• 6

[ 181 J
compromise of any kind. As it would be ttl
entertain doubts of the praClical efficacy of our
religion, to have recourse to art for its esta-
blishment, in a party men render thelllselves
suspeCled by ing, by admitting the
strength of their opponents, by making the
least sacrifice to secure the greatest victory.
What exampIes have the popular party in
France furnished of this uncomplying spirit, in
every detail, as \\ ell as in the whole of their
general system! How often have they rejected
every thing that had the smallest appearance of
a modification! Ambition can accommodate
itself to every particular cifcumstallce, in order
to take advantage of all; revenge can even de.
lay or change its mode of proceeding: but the
spirit or party is like the blind movements of
nature, which always proceed in the same di.
rection. Thisil11pulsc, once comOlunicatel! to the
mind, is seized with an impenetrability which,
as it were, deprives it of its intellectual attri •

Illites. It is like a shock against some physical
force, tospeak to men who precipitately follow
the course of their opinion. They neither un··
derstand, nor see, nor comprehend. \Vith two
or three argul1lents they meet every ;
;111 d \\' hen these shafts have been exhalisted with·
[ 1 8 ~ J
out effect, they have nothing left but recourse

to persecutIOn.
The spirit of party unites men together by
the attraction of a common animosity, but not
by esteem or cordial attachment. It extin.
guishes the affections which exist in the soul,
in order to substitute, in their room, ties founded
only on points of opinion. Party men are less
gratified by what a mall does for them than by
what he does for the cause. To have saved your
life is much less considerable merit in your eyes
than to belor:g to the same party; and, by a sin.
gular code, this passion establishes relations of
attachment and of gratitude only among persons
who profess the same opinion. The limits of this
opinion form also the limits of their duties; and
if, in some respects, they receive assistance from
a man who adheres to a ditferent party from
their's, they seem to think that no human con·
fraternity exists with him; and that the service
he has rendered is an accidental circumstance,
which must be \\holly separated from the indi-
vidual by whom it was performed. The great
qualities of a man, who does not profess the
6ame political religion with them, cannot be ap-
preciated by adversaries. The faults, even the
crimes, of those who agree with us in opinion
[ 183 J
do nof detach us from them. The great chao
,
raCter of this passion is, to annihilate every
thing which does not coalesce with itself; and
one prevailing idea swallows up all the rest.
There is no passion which must tend more to
hurry men into every species of crimes than
party spirit; for this very reason, that he who
is under its influence is really intoxicated; and
the end of this passion not being per:;onal to
the individual whom it governs, he conceives
that, even in doing wrong, he devotes him-
self meritoriously. In committing crimes, he
preserves the sentiment of virtue, and expe-
riences neither the fear nor the remorse illsepa.
rable from selfish passions; passions, culpable
even in the estimation of him who ach under
their influence.

The spirit of party has no remorse; its first
charaCter is, that it considers its object so su-
perior to every thing that exists, that it can

repent of no sacrifice when so great an end is
to be obtained. The depopulation of France.
was conceived by the ferocious ambition of
Robespierre, and executed by the baseness of
his objects. This monstrous idea was even ad-
,mitted by the spirit of party itself; and men
have si1id, withoat being considered as assas·

[ 184 J
sins, cc that there were two millions of men too
many in France."
The spirit of party is exempt from fear, not
only on account of the extravagant courage
which it can inspire, but also by the security
which it produces. The Jacobins and the Aris-
tOGrats, since the commencement of the revo.
lution, have never for a moment despaired of
the triumph of their opinion; and amidst the
defeats \\ hich the Aristocrats have so constantly
sustained, there \\as something bigotted in the
certainty with \vhich they proclaimed ne\\s
,.... hich the most superstitious credulity could
hardly have believed.

There are, however, some general shades
which, without particular application to the
French revolution, distingui:lh that spirit of
party which belongs to those who defend an·
cient prejudices, from the spirit of party which
charaCtuj;z;es those who labour to establish new
principles. The spirit of party peculiar to the
former is more sincere, .tllat of the innovators
more able. The animosity of the former is
more profound, that of the latter more aCtive,
The former attach themselves more to men, the
inno\'ators to things. The former are more
imp!Jcable, the latter more sanguinary. The
[ 185 J
former consider their adversaries as impious
men, the latter consider them as obstacles j so
that the former detest from sentiment, while
the latter destroy upon calculation j and thus
there is less to be hoped from the partizans of
ancient prejudices, Jnd more to be feared fr0111
the opposItion of their enemies.
In spite of these dilferences, however, the
general charaCters are always similar. The
spirit of party is a kind of phrenzy of the soul,
which does not depend upon the nature of its
objeCt. It sees but one idea, in order to con-
neCt with it every thing which it meets, and is
blind to every thing that cannot be conjoined
with it. There is a degree of fatigue in the
action of comparing, of bahll1cing, of modify-
ing, of excepting, \\ hich the spirit of party
renders wholly unnecessary. \'iolent budily
exercises, an impetuous exertion, which re-
quires no restraint, prodnces a physical sensa-
tion very lively and very intoxicating. The
same thing holds in morals with that impUlse
of thought, which, liberated from all ties, and
eager only to advance, precipitates, without reo
fleCtion, into the 1110st opposite opinions.
It never proves any sacrifice to the spirit of
p a ~ · t y to forego personal advantages) the extent
2 B
of which zre known, for an o ~ i e a such as lhia
passion represents, an object \>hich has nothing
:; peci :ic, nothing ascertained, nothing kno.... n,
"nd which the imagination iuvests \\ ith all the
illusions of which thought is suscepti bll'. De·
n;Qcr;;cy or royalty are the paradise of these
real cr,tht.siasts. What they have been. what
they l1,ay Lecume, has no elteCt upon the sema-
tions which their partizans experience in their
favour. The spirit of party bestows upon them
:m interest \\ hich agitates all the ardent aud
credulous afiect.ions of \\ hich \l1an is susceptible.
By this analysis, we find. that the source of
p::rty spirIt is quite different from the senti·
ment of guilt. But if this philosophical exami-
nation inspires a moment's indulgence, what
horror must the dreadful efleCts of this passion
add to the apprehension it is calculated to ex-
cite l
There is no passion which can, to such ex-
cess, contraCt the understanding and dep\:ave
the morals. The human mind cannot develOpe

all its force; it cannot make any r e ~ l progress,
but by attaining the most rigid impartiality, by
effacing \\ ithin itself all habits, ~ l l prrjudices,
and forming, like Descartes, an .indc·pcndent
system out of all the opinions already intra-
[ 187 J
tluced. But when our thoughts are· once tine·

tured with the spirit of' party, it is not from
objects to our minds, hut from our minds to the
objects, that our impressions p r o c e c d ~ we do
not wait till they are received. we anticipate
their arrival, and the eye bestows the shape in-
stead of receiving the image. Men of ,talents,
who, in every other circumstance, endeavour
to distinguish themselves, then only employ
the few ideas which are common to them with
the most contraCted minds of those who adhere
to the same opinion. There is a kind of magic
circle traced round the subjeCt on which their
confederacy turns, \\ hich the whole party beats
round, and no one can cross; whether it be,
that by multiplying their arguments, they are
afraid of presenting to their antagonists a
greater number of points of attack; whether it
be, that in all men passion is more distin.
guished by its sameness than by its extent;
more by force than variety. Placed at the extre.
mity of an idea, like soldiers at their post, you
can never prevail upon them to seek another
point of view in the qucstion; and adhering to
some principle as to their chiefs, and to certain
opinions as to oaths, they would consider it as
an attempt to seduce them into treason, were
yOll to propose to them to examine, to investi.
[ 188 ]
Eate some new idea, to combine some new con•

<:i d p r ~ tiD·, s
..... - ..... - ~ ....
Thi<; mrde of viewing but one side of ohjects,
and red Dring them all to one signific3tion, ig
one of the most fatiguing processes that can be
conceived by those who are not susceptible of
the spirit of party; and an impartial man, who
has ~ e e n the spec1ator of a revolution, at last
is forced to despair of discovering the truth
amongst these imaginary representations,. in
\\ hich bmh p:lrties believe that they have de-
monstrated and est:ll:lished the truth. 1,,1a.
them::ticians may remind them that certainty
may be attained by accurate principles. In this
sphere of ideas, however, in which sensation,
rcfleBion, and even langl1age, mutually combine
to form a chain of probabil.ities, when the most
noble \\ ords have been dishonoured, the most
just reasonings f:llsely perverted, the most just
sentiments opposed to each other, we imagine
ourselves plunged into that chaos, which Mil.
ton would have rendered a thousand times
1110re horrible, if he could have displayed it in
the intelleCtual world, confounding, in the eyes
of men, the just and the unjust, vice and virtue.
A long time must elapse before an age, a na-
tion, an individual, by mere knowledge alone,

[ 189 J
can recover from the spirit of party. ReputatiOli
being no longer dependentsolely on real merit,
emulation flags by losing its ohjet!. Ijnustiee
discollrages the pursuit ofvirt'lt'; glory is rarely
cotemporary, and fame itself is so warped with
the spirit of party, that the virtllous man can.
not make his appeal to future ages.
This passion extinguishes in superior men
the talents they received [ro·m nature; and the
career of truth, indefinite like space and time,
in which the man, who thinks enjoys an hap-
piness without limits, is shut against the spirit
of party; and every hope, as well as every fear,
devotes to a degrading slavery of belief minds
formed to conceive, to discover, and to judge.
In a word, the spirit of party must, of all the
passions, be that which is most hostile to the
devclopement of thought, since, as we have aI,
re:ldy observed, the fanaticism it inspires does
not leave any choice in the means of securing
victory, and our own interest lends us no as-
si5tance where the passion is sincere.
The spirit of party often gains its objeCt by
its perseverance and intrepidity, but never by
its knowledge. The spirit of party, that weighs
alld balances, then becomes an opinion, a plan,
all It no longer is that nUldness) that •
[ 190 ]
infatuation which cannot abandon a point with.
out betraying all the consequences to which its
leads, and the advantages it may be expeaed tQ
produce.!
But if this passion contracts the understand·
ing, what influence does it not possess over the
heart!
I begin with saying that there is an epoch in
the French revolution, I mean the tyranny of
Robespierre, of which it appears to me impos-
sible to explain all the effects upon general
principles, either by the spirit of party or any
other of the hU:l1an passions. That :era was
out of the course of nature, beyond the limits
of crime; and, for the repose of the world, we
would \\ illingly believe, that as no combination
ean enable us to foresee or to explain such atro·
cities, this fortuitous conjunClion of all moral
enormities is an unheard of occurrence which
millions of ages ha\'e no chance of renewing.
But to pass over this period, how many cri·
minal aas has the spirit of party occasioned in
France! what devastation has it not committed
in every age! It is a passion that has no kind
of Every thing it encounters in
its progress must be sacrificed to the objeCt
[ 191 J
it has in view. All the other passions being
behsb, a kind of balance is frequently establish.
ed between different personal interests. An
,lll1bitiollS man lIIay sometimes prefer the plea.
sures of friendship, the advantages of esteem,
to this or to that acquisition of power. In the
spirit of party, however, every thing is posi.
tive, because there is nothing real; and the CO,I11':
parison being even made between something
known and something unknownj between what
is precise and what is indefinite, there is no room
for hesitation between unbounded hope and any
temporal advantage whatever. I use the word
temporal, because the spirit of party deifies t h ~
cause which it adopts, hoping, if it triumphs,
advantages beyond the Il:lture of things.
The spirit of party is the only passion which
erects the destruction of all the virtues into a
virtue, which lays claim to glory from all those
actions which men would labour to conceal, if
they were performed from motives of personal
interest. Never can a man be plunged into a.
morc frightful situation than when a feeling
which he considers honourable, prompts hill}
to the commission of crimes. If he is capable
of friendship, he glories to sacrifice it; if he pos.
sesses sensibility, he is proud to conquer h i ~
feeling. In a word, pity, that divine sentiment
C192 J
which renders Eorrow a bond of union among
mankind; pity, that virtue of instinct which
preserves the human species, by preserving in.
dividuals from the effeCts of their own madness,
the spirit of party has alone succeeded in eras.
ing from the soul, by withdrawing the interest
of affection from individuals, and fixing it on
whole nations and future generations. The
spirit of'party effaces the feelings of sympathy
in order to substitute the ties of opinion, and
represents actual sufferings as the means, as the
pledge of an immortal futurity, of a political
happiness beyond all the sacrifices that may 1;e
required for its attainment.
If men were to impress upon their minds a
thorough conviction of the truth of this simple
proposition, that they have no, right to do evil
in order to obtain good, we should not have
seen so many hl1Jllan victims immolated upon
tr.e very altar of the Virtues. But since these
compromises have taken place between the pre·
sent and the future, between the sacrifice of the
present generation and the advantages to be
conferred upon posterity, a new degree of pas.
sian considers itself as bound in duty to over·
step all limits, and often men, prone to guilt,
affecting to be animated by the examples of
Brutus, of Manlius, of Fiso, have proscribed

C193.J
virtue, because men have sometimes int.
have assassinated' those °they
'hated, because 'the Romans had courage to sa-
crifice all they held most deal'; have massacred
feeble enenlies, because generous souls had as-
sailed their adversaries in power; and deriving
froril patriotism only the ferocious sentiments
which at some periods it may have produced,
have displayed no greatness but in wickedness,
and have trusted only to the energy of guilt.
It will hold true, however, that the virtuous
man may surpass in active and efficient force
the most audacious criminal. The world still
wants an illustrious spectacle in morals and
character, that of a Sylla in the road of virtue,
aman whose character should demonstrate that
b is the rcsourse of weakness, and that it is
to the defeCts of good men, not to their morality,
that their bad success ought to be ascribeel.
After having sketched out a picture of the
spirit of party. my subject requires that I should
speak of the happiness which this passion may
bestow. There is a moment of enjoyment in
all the tumultuous passions. This arises from
the delirium by which the whole frame is agi-
tated, and gives, in a moral sense, that kind of
plclisure which children experience in the
2c
,
-c 194 J
sports, the enjoymentQf which. proceeds from
exertion and fatigue. The spirit of p;trty will
be found a very good substitute for the use of
IOtrong liquors; and if the few rise superior to
their present existence by the elevation of
thought, the multitude escape from it by every
kind of intoxication. .But when. the illusion
has ceased, the man who awakes from the dream
of party spirit i;;; the most unfortunate of
beings.
The spirit of party can never obtain what it
desires. Extremes exist in the imagination of
men, but not in the nature of things. Never
does a spirit of party exist without its produ-
cing another in opposition to it; and the struggle
is never terminated but by the triumph of the
moderate opinion.
A spirit of party is required to combat with
efficacy against another spirit of party, and all
that reason censures as absurd, is precisely that
which must sllcceed against an enemy who pur.
sues a course equallyabsurd. That opinion whiclt
rises to the utmost height of exaggeration, tran-
sports tothe lists where the combat is to be main.
tained, and bestows arms equal to those. of the

adversary that opposes. But it is not from de.
liberation that the spirit of party thus takes ex-
[ 196]
• •
treme measures, and their success is not a proof

ofthetalents of those by whom they a're employ-
ed. The leaders as well as the private me'n must
march blindly on, in order to arrive at the place
. . . .
of their de'stination; and he who should attempt
to reason with extravagance, would not, on
this accotint, be a whit wiser than a real mad-
man.
The force that aCts in war is a power wholly
composed of impulse and effort, and the spirit
of party is nothing but war; for all those prin-

dples constituted for attack, those laws which
serve as offensive weapons, are dissolved when
peace arrives; and the most complete victory
of a party necessarily destroys all the iufluence
of its fanaticism; nothing is, nothing ,can con·
tinue, such as it desires.
Doubtless, it is to the secret instinct which is
derived from the empire which truth J;l1us.t \11-
timately possess over the final issue of t:vents,
of that power which reason must ~ s s u m e in
times of caIm, it is to this instinCt that the
horror which the combatants entertain for those
who hold ploderate opinions ought to be ascrib-
ed. The two opposite faCtions consider them
;1S their greatest enemies, as those who will
reap the adviimtages of the victory without
[ 196 J
mingling in the contest; as those, in n \\ oro,
who alone can gain real success whenever the
tide begins to turn in their favour. The Ja-
and the Aristocrats are less fearful of
their mutual success, than of the predominance
of moderation; because, they consider the for.
mer as only transient, and are conscious of
possessing defects, which always give
equal advantage to the conquered as to the con-
queror. But when the fI uctuation of ideas
brings things back to the bounds of justice and
of possibility, the power, the importance of the
spirit of party is gone, the world again ad.
justed lIpan its own basis, public opinion ho-
nours reason and virtue; and this inevitable
,
period may be calculated like the laws of na·
ture. There is 110 eternal war, and yet no peace
can be estaUished under the direC1ion of the
pa"sions; no repose without conciliation, no
tranquiility without toleration, no party then,
which, when it has destroyed its enemies, can
satisiy its enthusiastic followers.
There is, besides, another observation, which
is, that in this kind of war, the vanquished
pJrtyalways avenges itself upon men for the
triumph which it resigns to things. Principles
rise with I from the attacks of thei\" anta-
.' ,
gOllists; individuals fall u:lder the attacks of
[ 197 ]
their adversaries. The man who, in his party,
runs into the extreme, is not qualified to con-
duct the affairs of that party \\ hen it ceases to
be at war; and the hatred which the oppo-
nents entertained for the cause, assumes the
form of contempt for its most criminal defen-
ders. 'What they have done to secure the
triumph of tbeir party has ruined their in-
dividual reputation. Those even who applaud-
ed them when they considered themselves as
preserved from some danger by their exertions,
are ambitious of the honour of trying their con-
duct when the danger is past. Virtue is so
strongly the original idea of all men, t h a ~ the
accomplices are as severe as the judges when
the geaeral responsibility no longer exists;
and the conquered and the conlluer9rs are re-
£Onciled \ ~ hen the one renounce their absurd
cause, and the other aoandan their guilty
leaders.
The triumph::: of a party, then, never prove
advantageous to those who, in the course it has
pursued, have shown themselves the most vio-
lent and the most unjust. '
But though the spirit or party, in all its sin-
cerity, might render men indifrerelJ t to personal
ambition, this pas:;ion, considered in a general

[ 198 ]
view, is never satisfied with any dura.ble result.
Were it possible even that it could be satisfied,
if it were always to gain what it caIls its oQ.
jeer, no hopes could be more completely disap.
pointed; no hopes ever ceased more certainly
in the moment of enjoyment; for there are
none, the illusions of which are less connected
'vith reality. There is something real in the
gratifications which glory and power bestow;
but when the spirit of party triumphs, it is an·
nihilated by the very success.
And what sensation does not the moment we
awake from the dream produce! Thl? misery
which it occasions, it might even be possible to
support, if it arose only from the disappoint-
ment of a great hope; but by what means caQ
we redeem the sacrifices it has cost, and what
must be the feelings of a virtuous man, when
he finds that he has been guilty of aCtions,
whirh, on the recovery of his reason, he con·
demns?
It requires some effort to make the confes.
sion, least it should tend to moderate the horror
which guilt ought to inspire; yet there have
been men, in the course of the French revolu.
tion, whose public conduct has been detestable,
and who, in their private relations; have shown
[ 199 J
themselves highly virtuous. 1 repeat ::; in
examining all the effects of fanatIcism, \\e find
it clearly demonstrated. that it is the only sen·
timent which can combine criminal conduct
with a virtuous mind. From this opposition
must arise the most cruel punishment which
the. imagination can conceive. The miseries
which spring from the charaCter have their reo
medy in itself. ThtTe is, in the mind of the
man most deeply criminal, a kind of corre-
spondence which alone can enable him to exist;
and remain hiuiself. The sentiments which
have prompted him to guilt conceal from him
its horrors. He endures contempt from the
same motive which. led him to deserve it. -But
what cruel punishment must that situation in.
f1iCt which allows an estimable man to judge,
to contemplate himself, after having committed
such crimes! It is from a combination of chao
raelers similar to this that the ancients have
deduced the most terrible effects of their trage.
dies. They ascribe to fatality the guilty aCtions
of a virtuolls soul. That poetic invention
which renders the part of Orestes the most
frightfully interesting of all theatrical exhibi·
tions, the spirit of party is able to realize.
1 he iron hand of destiny is not more powerful
than this domination of a ruling idea, than that'
phrenzy, whichevery single modeofthinkingex.

[200 ]
cites in the mind of him who abandons himself
to its influence. While it subsists, the spil"it of
party is fatality, and few men are strong enough
to escape from its chains.

To such sensations, then. will those one day
awake, who alone are sincere, trose alone who
deserve regret. Overwhelmed with contempt,
when they require esteem; accused of blood
and of tears, when yet susceptible of pity; in-
sulated in the world of sensibility, when yet
burning to form all union with the wholehu-
man race, they will experience those miseries,
when the motives which have occasioned them
have ceased to be real, even in their own eyes;
and as the pledge of that fatal identity which
conneCts them with their past life, they will
preserve only remorse; remorse, the sole tic
which binds two beings so different as that which
they appeared under the yoke of the spirit of
party, and that which they were formed by the
bountiful hand of n:lture.
,
,
[ 201 ]
---=-;..-""
OF GeILT.
I-IoRRI rLE as the ide:.! tlJlIst armE':,Ir, it mint
,
IJe coufessfd, however, thilt the jo\e of l;llilt
,
is itself a j\'n doubt all the 01!1(']" pas-
sions h:ad to this excess; Lut \\ hell thev ha\'e

rarricd a lliall to a cerLlin pitch Of enormity
the elrect becoIllcs the cause; and t};e guilt,
\\hich at first \\as only the means, becomes the
end.
This horrible situation reqllires ;t particular
ex plan<:tion; and perk! ps the read.?r must have
been spectator of a revlJ]utioi1 to comprehend
what I am about to say upon this subjeCt.
1jen i:re preserved under the of
morality by two priucil)lts, jlllt,Jic opinion :lilll
I
e '[I L ' I
se r esteem, lere arc Ill<lll\' ':lst;lncc, \\' lere
-
the 1'0)'I11er disrcCTarded bv tilo"e \r!'o !'(" :,ret
0, ,
the latter. The charal-ier (I,e,l W;'lllil", :Iil ,lit"
or a,ld ll1i,ailtl.rf" ,',', ',',',:': !rc-
o
vents tEen fru!lJ performing mallY v,ort):y ac.
2D
[ 202 ]
tions \; hich ~ p r i n g from a desire of esteem,
without, however, extinguishing those virtuous
sentime:Jts which determine them to the dis.
charge of their principal duties. But after men
have brohn down every thing like order in
their conduCt, when they can no longer fix
themselves to any kind of principle, however
slender, rdleElion. reasoning, being then too
painful to be endured, a kind of fever rages in
the bicod, which imposes guilt as an absolute
\\ ant.
This impulse becomes a physical sensation
tramported into the moral world, and even
~ h e phrenzy is very commonly manifested by
external symptoms. Robespierre and the mao
jority of his accomplices habitually had convul.
sive movements in their hands and in their
heads. In their appearance was displayed the
agitation of a constant effort. Men begin with
committing excesses fran) the violent impulse
they han: received; but when it has reached
its height, it always produces an involuntary
and dreadful tensi0!l, beyond the bounds of na·
ture, in whatever senses it may appear. It then
is no longer passion that commands, but can·
traftion that sustains the effort.
Certain;)' the criminal always thinks in a ge-
neral v,a)', that his aim is directed to some olJ·
[ 203 J
jeCl:; but his mind is so distracted, that it is im:
possible to explain all his aclions by the inte·
rest of the objeCl: which he is desirous to attain.
Crime demands crime, and guilt sees no safety
but in fresh enormities; it inspires an inward
fury, which compels men to act without any
other motive but the necessity of action. This
clTeCl: can hardly be compared to any thing but
the taste for blood in wild beasts, even when
they experience neither hunger nor thirst. If,
in the system of the world, the different natures
of beings, of species, of things, of sensations,
are connected by intermediate objeCts, it is eel'·
tain that the passion of guilt is the link between
man and the brutes. It is in some respeCts as
involuntary as their instinct, but it is more de.
praved; for it is nature that has created the
tiger, but man makes himself criminal. The
sanguinary animal has his appointed place in
the world; while the guilty lllall must overturn
all order, to establish his sway.
The trac:es of reasoning, which can be di'eo.
vered through the chaos of a guilty m:l1I's sen-
sations, consist in the dread of the dangers to
which he is exposed by his crimes. Whatever
maybe the horror \\hic:h a villain in;·,pires, he
alwdyS surpasses his ellen/ie:> in the idea he

[ 204 ]
conceives to himsf·if of the batreJ 1:(' ueser\"cs.
L Idel' the ;l'!'Oe!OllS ;:Cl:illllS \I' hieh be COIll.
lni ts l'e:"'oi e O'.lf eyc:-" he i,'l cOdscioliS of SOlllC-
tiii:lg II.OrC tLail II C perceive, \\ bieh him
, .. it. di ,n,a)'; i.e Lates in others the opilJion
a.\.trc it) lIP (If
11
' - 0" '1 e
1
' ")
!:'l " I 1:0.1
. .... ... l
d.l ••
to 7. Lr-J,,,j-
.. ...
: I.e ULIIJI),': l:oiut 01 his
in hll:self ti.e remains
-
" I
- '·'1'..... ,-.,'
0,
C
",l .... ,·F ,r.. .,1'
o •• _. '"-'- ••••
I
.. " ,' ,
'0 III C. 1 .
. C L, tu. III _OLtl.ee.
to tcJr in pieces it'
y,' e nrc nt inconsistency of'
',' • 1 • . . ,
\'11;::::15, ":;L it i'; tI):s '.'c'ry ClrClIlll,tallce tnat
prOHS, t11t to tk'l11 is 110 ]ollf;cr tl.e ill-
of a !Il;t a i l:rcllzy \\ :thOllt 11]0·
y\ :::,cd a ..,i()ll \\ Liell
:l:is UPO:: it'elf. An,hi'ioll, (he of
pml('r, pr a:1Y other excessive sClltilllCllt, may
pl"n;;lpt Ll the of criIiH's; but \\ hen
guilt has arri\'Cd at a certain eXITSS, it is
'\i:bhe:d by 110 bOll1l0S: tl.e cclion it prrf'e-
\r:1'rs in the is presrri!ed by the atru-
or t! c !;nccdillg day. A blind force ill1-
pds me;l to proreed in the de,ccnt l\ hent'ver
t!;e\'l:ayc ril,e'l'cd lI::nn it. Tl.e (Crtll, II I atcI'cr
. ,
it n;ay Le, I CCt'c1lS as tLey <lG\':lI1CC. 1'hl' O:JjCl'[
Gf a:l the oLler p:;c.sions is kI10\111, and tl.e \\lO·
n.cm ()f }H S C',SiO:1 P ['\11:5C5, at le'lst, tl.e c:i1ll1
of SJ!.d); but ill horriiJlc intoxication
[ 205 J
man feels himself condemned to a perpetnal
!Lotion. He cannot s:01' at any ]im;:t',l point,
since thr end <f all exertion io fe-pose, and to
him repose is il1ljJo,sib'r:. He advance,
not because hore invites l:i:l1, Lut the
:1:)Y,S is behind; and hCCiH!:,e, like the a,cent of
the Illack i\lolIl1tain, de Cri!L! i:J tlie Persian
Ta:es, thc heights sink in pl'OpunilJa as the
traveller has SUr:1lOLlllteJ thel11.
'1'1.(' p:'cvailing se:ltinJcnt 0;' most men is,
the fear of p:lnisl:ed for their
Cl illlCS; tl:ere is about them, ho\\ever, a cer·
Llin fu!'y III:ich p;'c'\'Cl,l<; tLcI11 from aJo1Jting
tLe 11)(.11]';, il tile:: are at the sallic tillle
t!,C' ILO,t Illdd, it i:; ill prcsc:,t criilles only
tllat tllcy see:, for i:ldl'ill!lity against past.
Evay re·;oll:! iail tend;;;;' to peace and to
rccollcili.lti,J:l, tlilJtl,d1 It reallv were f"vour-
'.' '"
able to their i:ltcrests, would be rejeCled. In
measures of tltis deseri pticn there is a kind
or imbecility, and 0,' call1J, incollJpatible with
tL<: iil\\Jrd \\i,!l tbe convulsive fero-
city of SlIch llJel},
In proportion as their natural propensities
',1. ere kind, the morc honilJle is the irritation
\',hich they C'xperience. It is much better,
"here you are threatened by the crimes of
\
[ J
ethers, to be exposed to those corrupted
who ha\'e never made any account of morality,
than to those who have been obliged to deprave
their own minds, and to extinguish some vir.
tuous qualities. The latter are more attended
by contempt; they are in themselves more rest·
less; they plunge greater excesses, in order
to divest themselves of ordinary combinations,
\\ hich might recall to them the ancient traces
of \\ hat they have felt and thought.
'Vhen men have once reached this horriUe
period, they must be cast out of society, for
they can only distract it. That arrangement
of the social order, which should place such a
crin,ilial upon the throne of the \1 arId, \Iould
not rC:-Ider him mild and gentle towards the
men \\ bo \\ere doomed to be his slaves. No.
thin:.: of restraint witltin fixed limits, even

though placed at tl'e highest point of
rity, \Iould those furious beill!!"';,
dete"t ll,cn as the speCtators of their cunduCt .

The energetic of these monsters at last
come to be as anxious for hatred as otkr men
arc for esteem. The moral nature, ill ardent
minds, points always at something complete,
and they \\ ill by guilt, when there is
no grandeur attainable but in its excebS. The

[ 207 J
,
aggrandizement of oursclvea, that desire which,
in some way or other, is always the principle
of all external aCtion, is gratified by the terror
which we inspire. Men may fear, if they do
not love. The terror we inspire flatters and
encourages, breaks offour relations with others,
intpxicates the imagination, and, by degrading
the victims, seems to acquit the tyrant.
But I am aware that, in speaking of guilt,
my ideas have been confined to cruelty. The
revolution of France combines all these ideas
in this horrible depravation; and, after all,
what guilt is there in the world, but that which
i$ cruel, that is to say, that which makes others

sulfer? What must be his nature, who, to gratify
his ambition, could infliCt death? What must be
his nature, who can brave this terrible and so-
lemn idea, the immediate application of which to
ourselves cannot fail to ·appal every being who
cherishes the desire to live; this irreparable aCt,
this act which alone gives man a power over
eternity, and enables him to exercise a faculty
which is unlimited only in the empire of.mis-
fortune. \Vhen a man can deliberately con-
ceive and commit this act, he is cast, as it
were, into a new world; the blood is currupted.
From this day he feels that repentance is im
G
as the is irreparable. He no
,

[ ]
longer cf the snnle species
,,,ith all t1.0"c\'.'ho com:;iDe the past aDd the fu-
ture. It' a',\' bold could be laid on such a chao

rafier, it w"u]d Lc Ly at OLce persuading
him that he is aLsolutcly p:lrdoned.
There is not, perLlp, a tyrant, EVen the
most prcsperOl:s, \\ lio \'.ould not \\ish to begin
anew tle career (of Yirt\lC', cc,dd h" c,tinguish
tbe rel'.:en, brance of his crimes. 1\ut, in the
first n:::ce, it is aln'cst in;j:o'"iLle, tI1O\1£h \\'e
• • C
, ,- 1 1 1 .•
to a cnHll-
nat t;,::t his r:Hc!1('cs are for,.iven ; the opililoa
l:c cltert::i::s of l:!mself is nll,ell more
riSid in its n;orali:y, tl:a01 the pity with which
he could inspire a vir'llln:s m;:n; if, l.c:.idcs,
it is cOI::ra,'y to tl',e ofrhings, that ana·
tion s,huld pa:'don, thO'lgh its most obvious
interest should such a conduct.
The nrst dawn of repentance should be hailed
as an eternal cn;:;2;:;cmc,.t to virtue; and those
C _
\\ ho, pcrL.:ps, tCDk :];e trl\\ ards :lmend-
ment hy 2cridrnt, should Le fixE'tll cyond the pos.
of retreat. I,ut there arc very few indio
viduals v.lIo pOSSE'SS sl.l1icient power over them·
sel,,-es to purst:e such a condnEt witl.out belying
their character. I·Iow c;m a mall confide to the
multitude a plan \\ hich can never succeed,
[ 209 ]
but by seeming not to be one? How can YOlt
compel a great number of men to observe a
complex movement which must appear to be an
involuntary proceeding, and induce the multi.
tude to act in unison with the private feeling
of every individual?
A man really criminal can !lever be recalled
to virtue. He possesses in himself even still
fewer means to assist the return to virtue and to
philosophy. The dignity of order and of pure
morality loses all its influence upon a depraved
imagination. In the midst of the deviations
which have not reached this excess, there al·
ways remains a portion of ourselves which may
serve to recall us to reason. We aI ways feel
a reflection lurking behind, which we are sure
to find when we are desirous to acr upon it;
but the man who is COUl plete! y cri minal has
launched beyond all bounds, alJd escaped from
all feelings. If he does feel remorse, it is not
that which serves to restrain, but that which
more and more impels to violent actions. It
is a kind of fear which precjpitates flight. Ee-
sides, too, every sentiment, every source of
enlotion, in a word, every thing that can pro.
duce a revolution in the heart of man, ceasing
to exist, it must eternally follow the same
path.
2 E:
[ 210 ]
It were superfluous to expatiate on the influ"
Ence which a phrenzy of this nature must exert
over the happine55 of mortals. The danger of
falling into such a state is the very misfortune
',hich threatens a 111Jn abandoned to his pas.
sions; and this danger alone is sufficient to
frigh'en and deter the mind from every thing
that might tend to involve us in it. Compared
with this prominent colour, every thing else
faints into shade. And so deeply struck were
the ancients with the frightfulness of this situa-
tion, that, in order to descri be it, they called
to their assistance all the allegorical tales of
u
1
ythology; nor is it merely the sufferings of
remorse, but also the pain that accompanies
each particular passion, which they have ex-
pressed in their descriptions of the infernal

regIOns.
l\{ost of the metaphysical ideas which I have
just been endeavouring to unfold) are pointed
out and illustrated by the mythological rela-
tions of the ancients respecting the final destiny
of those who had signalized themselves by their
crimes. The ever-streaming casks of the Da-
naides, Sysiphus labouring at an huge stone,
which rolls do\\ n the mountain as often as he
strives to roll it up, piCture to tiS a faithful
image of that necessity of aCting, even without


[ 211 ]
:my fixed object, which compels a criminal to
the most painful and laborious action, merely
because it relieves him from rest, than which
nothing to him is so insupportable. Tantalus
continually endeavouring to approach an ob-
jeCt which as uniformly recedes from him, pour.
trays the habitual torment of thilse men who

have consigned themselves over to wickedness
and guilt. They are equally unable to attain
any thing that is gOGd, or to desist from de-
siring it. Jn a word, the ancient philosophical
poets were sensible that it was not enough to
shadow out and describe the sufferings of reo
pentance; the description of their hell required
something more, and they thought it neces.
sary to shew what the wicker! experience even
in the full career of their \.';idedncss, and II hat
their very passions for crimes ma(:e thelll en·
dure, even before it hac! (edsed to operate, and
pad been succee(Ld by remorse.
But it may be asked, wl:y, ulldC'r the sup-
posed pressure of painful a the re-
lief of suicide is lJot more frequently resorted
to; for death, after all, is the sale remedy
against irreparable ills l' But though it but
rarely happens, that the profligate lay violent
hands upon themselves, it is not, therefore, to
be inferred, that the profligate are less unhappy
[ 212 J
<'-no miseraUe than who resolve upon and
r;erpetrate suicide; and, laying the
least stress on that vaglie unc.ertain dread, with
\':hich the apprehension of wha: may follow
this life, never CeaSES to haunt the mind of the
guilty; there is son;eth1l1g in the very a:'-( of
suicide that a of di'iposition,
and a rast of \\ hich are altogether
foreign to the nature of a dep. dved soul.
If we fling out of mortal life, in order to
rescue ourselves from the tor men ts of the heart,
,':e are not \\ ithout a \\ish that ollr loss should
be sO:'1ewhat regretted; if we resolve upon
suicide from an utter disrelish of existence,
whir;1 enables us to appreciate the destiny of
deep and seriolls reAeAions, long and reo
peated rx"minations of ourown mind, ne·
cessarily have preceded that resolution: but the
malice with which the heart of the wickecl man
rankles against his enemies, would make him
dread that his death would enahle them to
breathe in security ;-the rage that agitates him.
far from hin. \\ ith lifr, all the can·
trary, makes him cling to it with a kind of r:1fi.
corous rapture; a certain degree of pain dis.
pirits and f.ltig\les; but the irritation that <IC-
companies the perpetrati011 of criInes, makes
the criminal fasten upon existence with a mix·
[ 213 J
ture of fury and of fear; he beholds in it a kind
of prey which he pursues for the pleasure of
tearing it in pieces. It is, more(lver, peculiar
to the character of the eminently guiity, not to
acknowledge, even to themselves, the mberies
they end ure: their pride forbids it. But this
illusion, or rather this internal struggle and
restraint, in no measure contributes to mitigate
their sufferings; for the severest of all pain is
that which cannot repose upon itself. The guilty
man is ever restless and distrustful, even in the
secret recesses of his own mind. He behaves
towards hiIllSelr as if he were negociating with
an enemy; he observes with regard to his OWIl
reflect iOIl the sallle precaution and reserve IVhich
he puts.on in order to shew himself in public.
UndEl' the.alarms of SL!ch a state it is impossible
there should ever exist that interval of calm
meditation, that silence and serenity of re-
fleCtion which is requisite for a full examina-
tion of truth, and in obedience to her diCtates,
to form an irrevocable resolution.
That courage which enables a man to brave
the terrors of death, b!:'ars not the least affinity
to the disposition that resolves upon selfdestruc-
tioll. The greatest criminals may evince in-
trepidity in the midst of dangers: with them it
is an effeel: of mad folly, a kind of resource,

\
[ 214 J
an emotion, a hope that prompts to aCtion j but
those very men, though the most miserable of
mortal beings, scarcely ever attempt to cut
short their existence; whether it be, that Provi.
dence has not armed them with this sublime
resource, or that there is in the nature of guilt
i t ~ e l f a kind of ?rdent selfishness, which, while
it afioras no enjoyment, exdudes those elevated
sentiments with which the boon of protracted
existence is spurned and renounced.
Alas! how difficult would it be not to take
an interest in the fate of a man \vho rises supe-
rior to nature, when he throws away what, he
holds from her; when he converts life into an
instrument to destroy life; when hecan prevail
upon himself, by energy of soul, to subdue the
most powerful movement of the human breast,
the instinct of self-preservation! How dHlicult
"auld it be not to suppose some generous im-
pulse in the heart of the man whom repentance
should drive to the act of suicide !-It is indeed
not to be lamented that the truly wicked are
incapable of such a resolve; it would, doubtless,
be a painful punishment to an honourable soul,
not to be able to hold in sovereign contempt a
being which it can only loath and execrate.
[ 215 ]
SECTION THE SF-CONDo
• •
OF TliE SENTI I.lENTS TIIAT ARE DIATi nr.T\\'F.EN
TilE FASSIO:<S AND rHE RESOURCES WE l'O.SESS WallIN
OUnSELVES.
-- -
CHAP. 1.
E:,PLANATION OF THE TITLE OF THE SECOND SECTION.
FRIENDSHIP, parental tenderness, filial
piety, conjugal love, religion carry with
them, in some characters, many of the inconve-
niences that arise frol11 the passions; while, in
other characters, these very same affections be-
stow most of the advantages that result from
the resources we possess within ourselves. The
exigencies of the heart, by which I mean to
express the necessity we feel of some kind of
return on the part of others, form the point
of resemblance by which friendship and the
sentiments of nature approximate to the pains
of love; and when religion is heated into fana.
tacism, then all I h:n-e rdative to the
spirit of party is perfecHy applicable to reo
ligion.
I

[ 216 J
But even though friendship and the senti·
ments of Nature should feel nothing of these
exigencies, even l"hould religion be untainted
by fanaticism, still affeCtions such as those
could not be ranked in the class of the resources
which man possesses within himself; for these
sentiments, however modified, render us never·
theless dependent upon chance. If you are torn
from the friend whom you cherish; if the pa·
rents, the children, the husband, whom it is
your lot to have, are objeCts unworthy of your
love, the happiness that may flow from these
endearing ties is no longer in your PO\\ er :
and as for religion, intenseness of faith, which
constitutes the basis of all its blessings, is a gift
wholly indepf'ndent of us: unassisted even by
that firm belief, the uti] ity of reI igious senti-
ments must still be acknowledged; but it is
not in the power of any mortal to bestow
lIpan himself the happiness which they can
procure.
It is, therefore, under thEse different
of view that 1 have classed the suhjeCt of the
three which are ahollt to follow, COII-
sidering them as intermediate bet\\een the' pas.
sions that enslave us and the resources which
depend upon ourselves alone•
C217 J
••
CHAP. rI.

I CANNOT forbear stopping short in the
milldle of the present work, being struck my.
self with slirprize at the fortitude and firmness
with which I <ltJaly,e the atfections of the heart;
and them of all hopes of durable happi.
hess. Am I then about to belie the who!e
tenoul' of my own life ? Father, children, friends
of either sex, is it my tenderness for you that
I am going to disavow? .r\ h! no: from the
earliest monJents of my existence, I have ncithel'
sought for happiness, nor should I taste it else.
where but in sentiment; and I have too
dearly Jc:lrnt from Illy wounds all the pains
tbat attend it. One day marked by happiness,
one persOn distinguished by superior worth,
111ake us cling to these illusions, and an htltldred
times we return to this fond hope, after
an hundred times lost it. Perhaps,
even at the very moment that I am now writ.
Ulg, 1fanty, 1 that I would still fain
2:<
[ 218 ]
be loved; I still let my destiny hang entirely
on the affeCtions of my heart; but the person
that has proved unable to subdue his sensibility
is not, therefore, the less entitled to belief when
he holds out reasons for resisting it; a kind of
philosophy in the mind, wholly foreign to the
nature of the individual charaCter, enables a
man to appreciate himself, as if he were a
stranger, without having his resolutions influ-
enced by the lights of his understanding; it
enables him to behold himself suffering without
deriving any alleviation of his grief from his
faculty of observing it in hiRlself; nor is the
justness of one's reflections at all impaired by
that weakness of heart which prevents our with-
drawing ourselves from the stings of pain: be.
sides, general ideas would no longer enable us
to make an universal application, were we to
intermingle them with the detailed impression
of particular situations. In order to go back to
the source of human feelings we must expand
and enlarge our refleCtions, by keeping them
uncramped by our personal circu1115tances;
they have given birth to thought, but thought
rises aLove them, and the true moralist is he
who speaks not from invention or from reminis.
cence, but who contini.'es to paint man in ge.
neral, and never himself.
C219 J
Friendship is not a passion, for it does not
deprive you of a due dominion over yourself;
neither is it a resource which we find within
ourselves; since it exposes the objetl:s of its
choice to the various vicissitudes that may arise
from difference of lot, or difference of charac-
ter: finally, it impresses us with the sense that
we require a return from others; and in this
point of view, it makes us feel, in a great mea·
sure, the pains that attend love, without pro.
mising us the enjoyment of the vivid plEasures
which love is wont to inspire. Man is placed,
by the operation of all his affeCtions, in this
melancholy alternative: if to be loved is neces-
sary to constitute his happiness, all s.\'stem of
lertain and durable happiness is gone for him;
and if he is able to renounce being" Joved, then
a great portion of his enjoyments is sacrificed,
in order to secure wlnt may remain. Thus, to
abridge our enjoyments requires 110 ordinary
exertion of courage, for it only tends to enrich
us at a future day.
And in the view that I am no\\' to take of
friendship, let me first consider, not those ca-
pricious conneCtions. grounded On a variety of
agreemen ts, that can be traced to no other
source than vanity and ambition, but those
pure and sincere attachments that spring from
• .,
J



E210 J
the uninfluenced choice of the he3rt; attach-
ments, \T. hose sale motive is an anxiety to com·
municate our sentiments and our thoughts, the
hope of creating an interest in another's breast,
the fond assurance that anqther heart throbs
responsi\'e to our sorrows or our joys. \Vcre
it in the power of t\\ a friends to Llend and in.
termingle their beings, and to transfuse into
each other's sou! all the ardour of self, love i if
kne\'. no happiness or no misery, but as
the lot of the other was happy or miseraLit'; if,
in the mutual confidence, in the reciprocity of
each other's sentiments, they tasted thqt sere-
nity of mind, unclouded by suspicion, which
arises from the certainty and the charm of un-
restrained affeCtions: then, indeed, they are
11:q)py i but what a source of woes may there
nut spring from the pursuit of such enjoy-
ments!
Two men, distinguished for their talents, and
dc'stined to n;o\'e in a conspicuous sphere, are
to disclose to each otl.er their respec.
tive proje5ls, and by a mutual communication
of knowledge, to enlighten each other's mind.
If they deriye a secret plril'ure from con-
versations, \' here the relishes
-
alw the (1 al'n:s of intimac\', :1lJd where tl;ought
. ,
unveils itseif tile very moment it dawns upon
E221 J
the mind, \\·hat asacrifice must we not suppose
them to make of self love, before we can be-
lieve that they thus un bosom to each other,
without appreciating tLeir respr.8ive powers!
that they exclude from this intellectual inter.
cOllrse all comparative judgment on their reo
spective merit, llnct that they obtain a perfect
of each other, without allotting the
class thal either should occupy. I do not here
tuuch upon those perfidious rivalships which
ordinary competition is wont to produce; for
I have li1l1!ted the design of this work to the
I=onsideration of mankind according to their
charaCter, and as it itself in the most fa.
vourable point of view. The passions, from
their own unassisted operation, produce such
a lllass of misery, that it were needless, in order

to admcJ]ish us a!:!;ainst them, to describe their

etTeRs on the hearts of those that are naturally
vicious: as no man, in the tirst instance, ima-
gines himsdf capable of committing a bad ac.
tion, this kind of danger alarms no one; and,
by suppposing it, a IIriter provokes no other
antagonist but the pride of him who reads his
work. Let us, therefore, suppose that nei·
ther an equal degree of ambition, nor an am·
bition of a contrary tendency, shall disturb
harmony that subsists between tllO friends. As
it is impossi bIe to separate friendshi p fr01l1 tho
[ 222 J
conduct which it prompts, a reciprocity of
good offices is one of the ties that must neces·
sarily result from it: and who can rest satisfied
that the success of the efforts which a friend may
exert for the welfare of another, shall not alter
the opinion he entertained of the sentiments of
that friend? If he is d i s ~ a t i s f i e d with the degree
ofaCtivity \Vith which his friend e8pouses his cause;
if he imagines that he has reason to complain of
his want of zeal, then not only does he lose the
objeCt which he so anxiously desired, but the
less will soon be aggravated and embittered by
painful refleCtions on the diminished cordiality
of his frien4's co.operation. Finally, by this
admixture of sentiment with business, of
worldly interests with the interests of the heart,
we are affected with a particular kind of pain,
which we are not over anx.ious to analyse, be-
cause it appears more honourable to attribute
it wholly to sentiment; though it be likewise
composed of a kind of regret, \\hich becomes
more poignantly painful by being blended with
the affections of the soul. It, then, seems as if it
were better to separate friendship altogether
from what is not purely friendship: but its
most po\\Crful charm must vanish, if it ccases
to €xtend itself to the whole of your existence.
As friendship cannot, like love, feed and live
upon itself, it must participate in every thing
[ 223 ]
that touches your interests, and awakens your
feelings: but it is to the discovery and to the
preservation of this other self, that such a crowd
of obstacles arise.
The ancients formed to themselves an ex-
alted notion of friendship, when they pourtray-
ed her image in the persons of Theseus and
Pirithous, of Orestes and PiJades, of Castor and
Pollux. But without dwelling upon what may
be merely fabulous in the history of those he-
roes, it is evident that it was to companions in
:JrlllS that these sublime sentiments were as·
cribed; for the toils and dangers which they
encounter together, by teaching them to brave
the terror:. of death, facilitated their self·devo-
tion to the happiness of another. The enthu-
siastic ardour which war inspires, arouses all
the passions of the soul, fills up the various
vacuities of life, and by continually holding up
to the mind the terrific image of death, it
silences all petty rivalries, and substitutes in
their room the necessity of mutually support-
ing each other, of strongly struggling, of
proudly triumphing, or of bravely perishing
together. But all those generous emotion!;
which, spring from the noblest of all human
sentiments, valour, are rather to be regarded
as qualities that morc pecliliarly bel'ong- to
,
-
[ 224 ]
courage than to friendship: when the stornl
of II ar is blown over, there is but very little
probability that this conneCtion, which we ima.
gined to have formed with our associates -in
dunfrpr, II ill ever be realized, or that its dura.
-
tion 1\ ill be long.
In order to form a right opinion of the nlere
nature of friendship itself, we m u ~ t obsene its
oper:ltion in the breasts of men who run to.
gethfr neither the career of military glory, nor
that of amLitious strife: and then, perhaps,
will it plainly appear, that in ardent souls
. frienuship is, of all the sentiments which inform
the human breast, the most rigorous exaCter
upon others: we require that it alone should
fill up life; we grow irritated and peevish at the
\'oid it leaves, and injuriously impute it to the
want of sensibility on the part of our friend;
but eYen \Iere we to experience an equal zeal
of friendship for each other, we should soon be
mutually Ileary and impatient of that recipro.
city of return which it exacts.
To the picture of all these anxieties I know
there may be opposed that of those frigid beings
\\ ho love, as they do every thing else; who con-
secrnte to friendship a cert:lin day of the weeki
\'. lio reguhlte bdOle hand with what degree of

[ 225 ]
influence over their happiness it may be safe to
arm this sentiment j in a word, who yield to
an inclination just as they discharge a duty.
But I have already hinted in the introduction to
this work, that it was merely my intention to
follow and obsei've the life and lot of impassioned
souls; for the happiness of others is sufficiently
secured by th'e of the very qualities of
which they are depriv'ed.
It is habitual \\'ith women to make an unre·
eerved communicativeness the first condition of
friendship; and thus it becomes a mere atten.
dant upon love: a similar passion rec;pro.
cally occupy them, and then their conversation
is generally nothing else than the alternate sa.
crifice i11ade by her who listeris for the hope of
being permitted to speak in her turn: even the
very persuasion, that they arc confidentially
communing with each other on s.entiments less
exclusive, carries with it the same charaCter j
llnd the reflection, that they are occupied with
what rec;ards self, intervenes as a third, that
-
proves successively importunate to both. What
then becomes of the pleasure that accompanies
mutual communicativeness, if indift;'rence be
once discovered, if an effort be betrayed? The
whole charm is then vanished for souls of sens.i.

[ 226 ]
bility, and selfishness alone can prolong an in.
tercourse \Iith which the keenly piercing eye of
delicacy bas once perceived that friendship has
become \\ c:lrv•
..
As eyery woman has the same destiny, they
all tend to the same objeCt; and that kind of
jealousy, which results from the admixture of
sentiment and self love, is the most diflicult to
be subdl:ed. The generality of women are in-
fluenced bv a cunning, which, 11Owe"er, does
- ,.
not proceed from but from a certain
of truth: this secret they all pas·
sess, of II hich, newrtheless, they abominate the
-
discovery. i\ever can the ordinary run of wo-
men endure the idea of endeavouring to prove
pleasing to a man in the presence of another

woman; and the whole of the sex seem to have
Cut one common stock of pleasing accom-
plishments, of wit and beauty; while each lao
bours to persuade herself, that she is enrich.
ed with these qualities from the ruin of her
neighbour. There must, therefore, be esta-
-
blished either a total su ppression of the more
vivid sentiments, \\ hich, by silencing all rivalry,
would, at the same time, extinguish every kind
of interest, or there must appear a substantial
decided in oruer to clear awuy the

C227 J
general obstructions which sC'paratc \rOmen
from one another; they lIlust provide them-
selves with as many plea3ing accomplishments
as they may ill;agine themselves to possess, and
a larger share of positive good qualities,
before, on the side of the one, there can oe
perfeCt tranquillity, 01', 011 the sidp. of the other,
a perfeCt self.sacrifice; then, and then only,
would it doubtless oe found, that the iirst, the
dearest possession in lifc, would be the friend.
ship of a woman. Fer, has the breast of a man
ever experienced all the heart of a \\ oillan is
susceptible of r No: the being that has proved,
or may prove, as unfortunate as yourself, can
alone pour the due balm into the bosom that is
secretly corroded \\ ith the LittcTiless of grief.
But should evell that rare, that ob·
ject :,e discovered, might not aoscncc, or one's
peculiar lot, frustrate the happiness of SL!ch a
blissful tie? N(1)' is this all: the woman \\ ho
should imagine tllat she F0<;sessed ill a llIan the
most accompli'heel al,Ll feeling friclId, or, ill
another wonwn, the Illost I are and
cd one, tLe n:ore tl:orollghly a \\oman
would feel all that l\ilS lleu'ssary in order to
derive happiness froll! such an intercourse,
more \\ auld she be disheartened from advising
it as the lot of all, as I" list know it to uc the
rarest of all moral chances.
[ 228 J
finalh-, it would seem that two friends of

, . '
different sexes, uninfluenced by any common
terest, or anyone sentin:ent absolutely similar,
should, from the effeC1 0f that very opposition,
approximate to e.1ch other: but should love
bppen ta ensnare them, there 'then arises an

undescribable kind of sentiment, a mixture or
selfishness and of self-love, which makes either
a man or a woman, whom f riendshi p unites, per·
cei\'e but little pleasure 'in the passion that
them: these sorts of connections do not

subsist long, or they soon heak off aitogether,
whenever it is felt tbt the objeCl on which they
. -
mutt:al1y c0mn1enced, ceases to be an objeCt of
10.... ,,; for then it suddenly appears that it alone.
was their li:lk of union. ' . ,
But if, on the other hand, these two friends
• •
ha\'e no first ohjeCl to engage them, they would
then endeavour to obtain from one another that
,
dbtin guisLing preference. 'Where, however,
a man and woman are not otherwise attached by
love, they will endeavour to find in friendship

all the self-devotion \\ hich that sentiillcnt can
, ,.
inspire; and between two persons of different
sexes, is a kind of anatural exaetion of a
return, which solicits, or rather claims by de-
grees, and, as it \\('1'(', imperceptilily, what pas.
s:on only can bestow, how far soever either
[ 229 ]
mav be removed from the consciousness of its

influence. The preference which a male friend
may give to the mistress of his heart, is previ-
,
ouslyand unreluBantly submitted to; but it is
,
pifli cult to habituate the min d to cantemplate the
within which the very nature of this sen-
timent eire umscri bes the proofs of frien dshi p;
,
it is il111u:ined that more is given than is receiv.
-. .
ed, and from this very consideration we are
more struck with t!1e one than with the other.
and eguality is here as arduous a task to esta-
blish, as in all other relations; it is, never-
theless, the end and object which all those,
,
who look for frienrlship, are kno\\ n to have in

vIew.
;
Love would much more easily resign the
claims of reciprocity than friendship,
,
ever there exists a passion thilt inehriates, its
i)lace may be supplied by deced'ul appearances;
but the eye d' friendship cannot be deceived:
and when it proceeds to cOlllparisolls, it but
seldom obtains the resldt it wished lor: so rarely
ooes what \\C and compute appear
equal; there is sometimes discovered !llore
parity between extremes; and that
are unbouIlded more easily believe that they
resemble each other.
[ 230 J
rIow n:elancholy are the thOlights \\ hich thjg
ar.alysis 1espeCting the lot of mortal
11:an: \\'hat I shall the disposition, t1'at Jilost
susceptible of \Iarm impassiollcd attarh'l.cnls,
h.ve the most to dread from penllitting its hap.
piness to depend on an eagerness to be beloved?
:\nd is tLis reflection of il nature to make liS
deliver ourselves lip to the cold embrace of
self.shness? 1\0: on the contrary, this very
nfiecrion ought to lead us to believe that \\e
must exclude from the affections of the soul,
eHi] the selfishness of sentiment. Be satisfied
\\ ith loving, you \1 ho are born \\ ith ft>eling
hc.lrt<; for that is the only hope that never \\ ill
cecei\ e. DOl/btle.,s, the man who hus known
to Lc the of a deep implanted
1,asciolJ, \'. ho eYery received new
of the rcnderness he inspired, must expel icnce
emntiO:1S more exquisitely intoxicating: tho:,c
\\ !lic h derive lIot from rl'selll ble
the gifh of hea\"eIJ; they exalt and imparadi,e
t;;c ,0['1. tut felicity of a day poisons
,,;i tLe oflifc; nor is thereanv other

trc;;Si:re t:;;lt n;:I)' Lot be exhausted, IJl:t the
rc"o:.r"'i of ol;e's OWil heart. The lI.an II La
CiJ"secra:es his da.1 s to the happilless of his
,illd Lis bUJily; the man \\ ho, by [juli.
ci 1) .. t::,S c\ery tliat would be made to
( 231 J
him, is ignorant of the lengths which the
friendship he inspires would go to; the man
who, \\ hi Ie he seems to exist only in others, is
unable, therefore, to calculate what he \\oldd do
for himself. the man who in the en.
,
joymen ts he bestows, the full valuc and reward
of the sentiments which he fee!s; the man
whose soul is so trembling]y ae'live and alive
in procuring the happiness of \\I:om he
loves, that thel'e remai!lS no unsubstantial void
in his breast, where idle musing might engen-
oer disql!ietude and reproach; such a man, in-
deed, may rhk indulging in friendship without
any apprehemion of danger.
But so refined a devotion is wholly without
exampIe among eq lIals, it may indeed exist
when inspired by enthusiasm, or impressed by
the sense of some duty; in friendship, however,
it is aln!Ost impossible, it being of the nature of
friendshi p to beget a fatal anxiety for a perfea
return; and it is lJeCaUSc such is the constitu-
tion of the heart, that I have thought proper to
hold out benevolence as a surer resource than
friendship, and as more condu::ive to the quiet
oj hC:lrts endlied with impassiolied sensibility.
[ 233 J
tHAP. III.
\If FILIAL PIETY, OF PAREl\"TAL AND CONJUGAL
AFFECTION.
I""'HE most sacred of the moral elements of the
world are the ties tll<it bind together parents and
their children. On this holy duty is equally
poised the Lasis of nature and society, alid
nothing short of extreme depravity can make
Us spurn at this involuntary instinct, \\hich, in
these relations, prompts us to every thing
which virtue can impose; to these ties there is
always attached an assured happiness, the per.
formance of one's duties. But I have observed,
in the introduCtion to this work, that, as I uni·
formly considered virtue as the basis of the ex-
istence of man, I would tOllch upon his dnties
and affeCtions only as far as they had relation to
his 11a ppiness; it therefore now rellJ:lills to ex-
amine what enj"yments of sentiment parenb
and children may derive fro111 each other.
2H

[ 234 J
The saIne principle, in consequences so fruit •
ful, is ey'::"lly applicable to these aHectio!ll; as
to ali t\]e oti,cr attachments of the heart: if the
sOld :"e so bent on them a" to experience
t1:,,\ ill1pt:ri want of reciprocity, happiness is
tLcn uo more, and mi,fortt:ne takes lts place.
There is in the,e attacbments a natural inequa.
lity, that l1e\'Cr admits of an :l!lection of the
san:e nature, or to the same degree; one of
them is always stJ'onger, and thereby creates
complaints against the other, \\hether it be, that
cbildren cherish their parents more tenderly
than they are beloved by their parents, or that
parents feel for their olEpring sentiments more
ardent than those which their children are im·
with for them.
Let liS begin with the first supposition. Pa-
rents, in order to make themselves beloved by
their illfant children, have mallY of the advan·
tagesan dthe inconveniencic, ofkings: mllch less
is expeeted from children than is done for them:
we are flattered with the least effort of kindness
on their pJrt: every thing they do for you is
appreciated in a relative manner, and this kind
of comparative appreciation is far more easily
satisfied. The conduCt of children towards us
is never estimated from what we require of
them, but from \\hat we are accllstomed to ex·

[ 235 J
prCl; and it is much Jess difficult to raise an
agreeable surpri,e to ha bit than to the imagina-
tion. Parents, therefore, almcst invariably
assume that kind of dignity which conceals it·
self, as much from c:l!cuJation as from inclina.

tion. They are desirous to be judged of by
what they conceal: they are desirous that their
rights should be attended to, at the moment
that they themselves are prepared to forget them.
But this enchantment, like all others, can pro-
duce but a temporary effecr. Sentiment, that·
loves to usurp, daily pants after new conquests;
even at the moment when it leaves nothing un-
obtained, it repines at the limited powers of
man in loving: how, then, should it endure to
be kept voluntarily at a certain
The heart ail11!l at equality, and when grati-
tude is changed into real tenderness, it drops
its charaCter of deference and submission. He
who loves, imagines that he is no longer in-
debted; he rates benefits much lower than sen-
timent, their inexhaustible source; and if we
are continually for keeping up differences and
superiorities, the heart is disgusted, and with-
draw!;. Parents, mean time, neither knolV
how, nor are they scarrcly ever disposed, to adopt
this new system; and difference of age' is, per·
haps, the reason why they never draw themselves
[ 236 J
d0wn to their children without some sacrifice.
however, bl.t selfishness, can ever put
up \\it
i
., an h.lppincss which is purcha,ed by
th:lt term.
\\hatever may be the self-devotion of allee.
tionJtc and re&pectlul children, the new.born
inclinations, the novel that attract them,
£11 their p:.rents with a secret llloroseness,
\\ hich they must always experience, because
they will never ack:lO\\ ledge it, even to them-
selves. Whwever pllrents harbour' for their
children such 21: intense aud thorough affeciion,
as to ii\ e Gilly in them, to make their future
welfare their only hope, to look upon the term
cf tij,';r own life as concluded, in ordel' to
espo'.:f. the interests of their children \\ith all
the a: dour of personal identity; what I am
about say will, in that view, be suprrfh,01l3.
But, v.. hen p.i.re"t., roncc!l\l'cd \"ithin
themselves, tllelr ci,l!l!rell must ap]";ir to (hem
me:,:,!y in the light of successors, 1 would al.
Su) of rivals; of \\ lio to in-
dependence; Ol friends in whose conduct they
observe nothing but omissions: of mere
dependants, upon whme gratitl:de they rely,
and therefore neglecr to please them; of part.
ners that are bound down to you, but to whom
you are not bound do\\n: in a word, this is a
,
[ 237 J
kind of union in which parents. by giving a
boundless latitude to the idea of their rights,
seem to require an ncknowledgment of this
boulldlessness 01 power, of which. though they
assume it, they do not attempt to avail them-

8rlv.cs. In fine, the generality of parents la-
bour under this habitual mistake: they are over
confident in their authority, the sole obstacle
that can counteraCt that excess of tenderness
with which they would be cherLhed, \\ ithnut
being seusible, on the contrary, thJt ill this
relation of father to chilJren, as in every other,
where there illly degree of snperiority,
it is more peculiarly for him \\ ho enjoys the
aJvantage of that superiority, to shew a depen-
dance of sentiment, which, while it is nccess;lry,
is ,dso highly amia[Jle. ]n cases, indeed, where
either an 1Illusuu!ly mild simplicity marks the
cl araC"tcr of parCHts, or \\ here tI,Cy soar to a
superiOi ity so snpereminent as that their chil·
dren are happy rather to worship than obey
them, these are of no avail; but
to the 1110re ordinary situations of life, and not
to such, they ",ere previously intended to apply.
In the second supposition, perhaps the most
natural, the maternal sentiment, accustomed,
by the attentions which it lavishes on the fee-
bleness of helpless infancy, to forego all claims
[ 238 ]
to a return, awakens enjoyments the most
lively and the must pure, which carry with
them all the charaCteristics of passion, unex.
posed to the storms of the internal commotions
of the soul, and liable only to those of fate; but
so lamentalJly true is it, that as soon as the call
for reci procity is felt, the felicities of sen timen·
tal enjoyment fade away; that infancy is the
rera of life, \\ hich breathes into the breast of
most parents the most liveJy attachment, whe.
ther it be that, the absolute dominion we then
exercise over our children identifies them with
ourselves, or that their dependance on us in.
spires a kind of interest more attracting than
even the successful efforts which they owe only
to themselves; or whether, all that we expect
from children being" only in the bud of hope,
\Ie experience at once all that is most delightful
both in reality and in iiJusion, the immediate sen-
timent we feel, and that which we flatter our·
selves \\ e shall enjoy. But the reality of events
soon holds up our children to us in a far diflerent
light: \Ie behold them as educated by us, not
for ourselves, but for others; we vie\l" them as
starting into the career of life, while the hand
of time conducts liS to the back-ground; \Ie
look upon them as thinking of us only from
recolleftion, but of others from hope. Under
these impressions, \\' here are the parents, of
[ iZ9 ]
wisdom so sedate, as to enable them to rE'gard
the passions of yOllth as they do the amusements
of childhood, and to cbeck any rising desire to
bear a greater part ill the olle than in the
other}
Education most undoubtedly exerts a power-
ful infl uence over the disposition and the mind;
but it is far easier to instil your opinion:; into
your pupil than to inspire him with your will.
The self of your rhild is made up of ) our in·
stl'llctions, of the books yOLl have given him to
read, of the persons \ ~ i t h whom you have sur·
rounded him: but though in every thing you
Illay discover the traces of your fostering hand,
your cOlllmands have no longer the same as-
ccnJ:lllt over him: you have formed a Illan;
hut "".hat he has borrowed from you has oecollle
himself, and contributes as much as your re-
flections to build his independence. In fine,
successive generations, being often doomed, by
the duration of the life of man, to ex ist simul-
taneously, fathers and children forget, in the
reciprocity of scntiment they exaCt from each
other, from what different points of "jew their
eycs survl:Y the world. The mirror that ill-
verts the objeCts it represents, does not so
Etrallge!y misshape the face of things, :-IS the
[ ':l40 J
period of age, which places them in the future
or in t Ill' past.
T!.ere is nothing which requires a greater
de.£.'ree of delicacy, on the part of parents, than
tl·e method which they ought to pursue, in
order to regulate the lives of their children,
without alienating their affections: for it is in
nin to attempt to sacrifice their lovc to the
hope (If brin g: useful to them by precept; as
ewry permanent influence over their conduCt
terli,inates with the power or sentiment: it is
veT:- rare, therefore, that we hit the just mc·
dilll" in the duties \\hich this relation pre·
scri Lt:s.

The afleCtion of children for their parents is
compouuded, if 1Illay so speak, of all the eveuts
of their life. There is no other attachment, in
the camFosition of which there enters a greater
number of causes foreign to \\ hat captivates
the heart; there is, therefore, none, the en·
joyment of which is more uncertain and preca.
rious. The ascendant of nature ind of duty,
\', hich constitutes the principal grounds of this
connection, cannot, indeed, be annihibtrd:
but as soon as we come to love our children
with a passionate fondness, we stand in need of
something altogether ditlereu t from \1 hat they
C241 J
owe us ; and in the sentiment we·thus harbour
for them, we run the same risql1es as those we
are exposed to from the affections of the soul:
in a word, this exaction of a return, this call
for reciprocity, the bane and destruCtion of-the
only celestial blessing which man enjoys, the
faculty of loving; this exaction of reciprocity
proves still more baneful in the relation of pa.
rants to their children, because it comes ac-
companied with an idea of authority, and i$
thereby at once both more noxious and more
I.atural. All the equality that exists in the
sentiment of love is scarcely sufficient to reo
move from its solicitude for a return the idea of
some kind of right. It would seem as if the
person, who loves most ardently, attacks, by
this very sl1lJeriority, the independence of the
other: and how much more powerfuliy does
not this inconvenience occur in the relations of
parents to their children? The more claims
are they possessed of, the more cautiously
should they avoid enforcing them, if they de-
sire to be loved; but as soon, however, as an
affection becomes strongly passionate, it can
no longer rest upon itself; it must necessarily

exert its action upon others.
Wherever conjugal affe5tion it be-
stows the enjoyments either of love or of friend.
2 I

ship; but both the one and the other, I think, I
haye already analysed. There is, however, in
this connection something peculiar, both in
good and in evil, which ollght not to be left
unexplored. There is some happiness in hav-
ing discovered in the path of life sllch circum·
stances, as, without the assistance even of sen-
unite and blend together two sdves, in.
stead of opposing them to each other; there is
an happiness in having entered into that part.
nership sul1iciently early to enable the recollec.
tions of youth to come in ?1Utual endeavours
to the alleviation of that death \\ hich com-
mences in the very middle of life: but inde-
pendently of all that may be so easily conceived
respecting the difficulty of suiting each other,
the multiplicity of relations of every kind that
result from common interests, calls II p a variety
of occasions for wounding each other's feelings,
though they do not originate in senti-
ment, finish, however, by destroying it.
person can pretend to know beforehand
the length to which may be drawn the history
of each day, especially if we but attena to the
variety of impressions which a day may pro.
duce, and in what is generally called bouse.
"'i/"ry, there, every moment, start up certain dif.
ficulties \\ hich may extinguish for ever a:l that
,
[ 24·3 ]
is exalted in sentiment. The conjugal, there-
fore, of all the ties, is that wherein there is least
probability of enjoying the romantic happiness
of the heart: in order to preserve peace under
the, influence of that connection, it is necessary
to exercise a kind of empire over one's self, to
be endued with a certain degree of energy, and
a readiness to make sacri fiees, qualities whieh
border/much closer on the pleasures of virtue
than on the enjoyments of passion.
The iron hand of fate incessantly drives man
into what is imperfect and incomplete: it seems
that, from the very nature of things, happiness
isnot impossible; that from a re.uuion of what
is scattered through the world, the \\ished-for
perfeClion might be attained. But in labouring-
to rear this edifice, one stone oversets another,
one advantage excludes another which doublrd
it in value. Sentiment, in its fullest force, is,
from its nature, apt to exact a return; and this
exaction banishes the affeCtion which we are
eager to inspire. It is not unusual to see a man,
inconsistent in his wishes, keep hilllSelf aloof
from the person who loves him, merely because
Ile is too tenderly beloved; and while he sees
himself the oLjelt to which every sacrifice is
made, and every desirable quality stands sub.
servient, he is obliged to contess that the very

[ '244 ]
excess of this attachment to him is sufficient to
obli[erate every vestige of its blessings.
\Yhat inference, \\hat strain of admonition
can theec then be dra\\ n from these refieei ions?
The conclusion which I have already advanced
is, that ardent souls suffer from and
from the ties of nature, many of the miseries
attendant upon passion; and that beyond the
line of duty and of the enjoyments \\ hich we
can derive from our own reflections, senti·
ment, of whatever nature it may be, is never a
resource existing within ourselves; it invariably
places happiness at the mercy of chance, of a
peculiar disposition; or of the attachment of
another heart.
,

[ 245 ]
CHAP. IV.
. -
OF RELlCdO;';.
IT is not my object to describe religion by all
the various excesses that accompany fanaticism.
This is a su bjeCl: \\ hich the observations of ages
and the disquisitions of philosophy have ex-
hausted; besides, what I have already said
respecting the spirit of party is applicable to
this phrenzy, as \\ ell as to every other which is
occasioned by the ascendancy of an opinion:
neither is it my intention to speak of those reo
ligious notions lIpan which tangs the only hope
that cheers the close of our existence. The
theism of enlightened men, and of souls of sen·
sibility, is the offspring of genuine philosophy;
and it is by the consideration of all the re-
sources which man can derive from his reason,
that he must weigh this idea, too grand in
itself not to be still of an immense weight, not·
withstanding the uncertainties that surround
it.
[ 246 ]
But religion, in its general acceptation, sup.
poses an unshakeable faith, and whoever has
received from heaven this profound conviCtion,
can find no void in life; this faith suffices and
fills all its vacuities. In this respeCt, indeed,
the influence of religion is truly powerful,
and in this very same respect ought it to be
considered as a gift as little dependent upon
one's self, as beauty, genius, or any advan.
tage or faculty which we hold from nature, and
which no human effort can produce.
And how could it be in the power of the
\ViII to direCt our disposition with regard to
religion? In matters of faith it is impossible
that \\ e act: upon ourselves; thought is indi·
\' isi ble: we cannot detach one particle from
it to make it work upon anoth"er; \\ e hope
or \\ e fear, we doubt or we believe, acc.ord·
-
ing to the struCture of our mind and the na·
ture of the combinations which it engenders.
After having fully established that faith is
not a faculty which it depends upon ourselves
to acquire, let us examine with impartiality how
far it may be c o n d u c i v ~ to happiness, and begin
\\ith the more prominent advantages which it
holds forth.
[ 247]
The imagination is the most ungovernable
of all the moral powers of man: he is alter.
nately tormented by his desires and his doubts.
Religion opens a long career to hope, and
marks out to the will the precise path it should
pursue: under these two points of view, it is
highly consolatory to the mind; its futurity is
the reward of the past, and as it makes every
thing tend to the same end, it gives to every
thing the same degree of interest. Life passes
away, as it were, within ourselves; external
circumstances serve only to exercil;e an habitual
sentiment: what may happen, is nothing; the
determination we have taken, is all; and this
" determination, continually under the dominion
of a divine law, can never have Illade the mind
ex perience a moment of uncertainty. Once
secured against the intrusion of remorse, we
can never know those regrets of the heart and
of the mind, that reproach us even with the
work of mere chance, and which judge of our
resolutions by their effeCts. .tvliscarri:lge and
success afford to the comcience of the devout
neither pain nor satisfaction.
Religious morality leaves nothing vague 01'
unsettled as to the actions of life; their deci.
sion is al ways simpIe. \Vhen a true Christian

[ 248 J
has discharged his duties, all search after hii
happiness is over: he makes no enquiry into
t h ~ nature of the lot that has fallen to him:
he knows neither what he has to desire, nor
what he has to fear; his only certainty regards
his duties. The noblest qualities of the soul,
generosity, sensibility, far from repressing all
internal contentions, may, in the bustle and
struggle of the passions, oppose to each other
affections of equal force; but religion furnishes
a code which prOVides a law to regulate, under
all circumstances, what aCtions we have to
,
perform. In the present, every thing is fixed;
in the f utme, every thing is indefinite: the
soul, in fine, experiences a state of being
a1 ways calm and unruffled, that is, never
aroused by any thing vivid and impressive,-
she is encompassed by an atmosphere that
suffices to light her in the dark, though it
be not as resplendent as the day; and this
state, by rescuing her from misery, saves,
after all, at least two·thirds of our mortal
life.
If such be the advantages of religion in the
ordinary lot of man, if it thus makes up for the
enjoyments of which it deprives tiS, it must be
of sovereign utility in dcsrerate situations.
[ 249 J
When a man, after perprtration of some
heinous crime, beCllllll'S immediately :i1iyc to
the stings of true remorse, such a situation of
the soul must prove unsupportable withollt as-
sistance and relief from supernatural Ilotion£.
Undoubtedly, the most efficacious of all kinds
of repentance would be the performance of
virtuous actions; but at the close of lIfe, or
even in the morning of youth, where is the
guilty person that can hope to perform as much
good as he has committed wickedness? \\' hat
sum of happiness can be equivalent to the in-
tenseness of the pain? \Vho is armed with
sufficient strength to attempt expiations by
blood or tears? An ardent devotion mayap-
pear sufficient to the imagination of repentant
guilt; and in these deep and dreary solitudes,
where the Carthusian monks :md tt,e monks of
La Trappe acloptcci a mode of life so contrary to
reason, these converted criminals found a state
of existence which best suited the agitation of
their souls. Perhaps, even men, whom the
vehemence of their nature might have driven
to the perpetration of enormous crimes, by
having thus delivered themselves up, from their
infancy, to religious fanaticism, may have bu.
ried, in the gloom of cloisters, that fire of ima·
which subverts empires and desolates
2 K .
[ 250 J
the globe. It is by no means my intention to
encourage, by these reflections, institutions of
that kind; but they are made with a view to
shew, that passion, under all its forms, is the
most formidable enelllY of man, and that it
alone raises all the difficulties that perplex and
harass his journey through life.
In tl1at class of society which is devoted to
mechanical bbour, the imagination is L ~ e w i s c
the faculty, the effeCts of which are most to be
dreaded. I cannot pretend to say that reI igious
faith has been extinguished in the breast of the
French people: but if so, it will be difficult, in·
deed, to restore to them all the real enjoyments
which they derived from that idea. T he revo-
lution, for some time at least, in a great mea-
sure supplied their place. Interest was, at first,
one of the principal charms by which it fasci.
nated the people; nor was it less attranive from
the bustle and agitation which it infused into
common life. The rapid succession of events,
the various emotions they awakened, produced a
kind of intoxication, from the rapidity 01" this
hurried illotion, which, by quickening the
pace of time, left no sensation of a void, nor
even of the anxieties that accompany tbe con"
sciousness of existence.
[ 2.51 J
Habit has led us, too generally, to suppose
that the ambition of the populace was limited
to the possession of physical advantages; but
they have been found passionately devoted to
the revolution, because it attorded them the
pleasure of intermeddling in public ,dEdI's, of
influencing their direc1ion, of participating in
their success. All the passions that agitate idle
speculative men were betrayed and evinced by
those \\ho were familiar only with the necessity
of labour, and with the value of the wages it
produced. But when the established fo.rm of
any government whate\'er shall bring back
three-fourths of the community to the exercise
of those occupations which daily ensure a sllb.
sistence for the morrow; when the disorder and
confusion attendant upon a revolution shall no
longer give each individual the chance of ob-
taining all the advantages of fortune, which
opinion and industry had, during the lapse of
ages, accumulated ill an empire of twenty-five
millions of men, what treasure can there be
held out to hope, which, like religious faith,
can proportion itself to the desires of all those
who wish to drink at its source? How power-
ful the magic of that idea which at once can·
tains and con fines ollr actions within the closest
circle, \\ hile it gratifies :passion in all its wild
[ 2SZ J
and boundless cravings of hope, of an object and
of futurity?
If the a"e in which we live be the when

the reasonings of have most funda.
shook the possibility of an implicit
belief, it I11l'st also be confes,ed that the present
times have likel\ise e:-..hihited the most strikillg
proofs of the power and inG uenee of religion.
The mind has incessa.:tly before its C.I e tlte
siGht of those innocent vifl ims II ho crll· IIv pe·
o •
ri5hcd unGer a reign of terror and oi blood,
dragging after them all that they held de,lr in
this louth. beauty, VIrtue, taiellts,
were, by a pOII'er more arbitrary, and not less
inel'ocable than fate, promiscLlously plunged
into the night of the grave.
The ancients spurned at the terrors of death
from an utter disgust of life. But II e have seen
women, whose l:ature it is to be timid; youths,

who bd scarcely escaped from the years of
childhood; hushands and wives, who, in their
mutual love, enjoyed every thing that life can
afford, and for \\ hich alone its loss can be reo
gretted; all these have lIe seen ;]c1vancing un.
appa]]ed towarns eternity, which they nit! not
seem to believe could thclll, without
once recoiling at the view of that abyss where
[ 253 J
imagination shudders at its own creations, and
though liluch less weary than we with the ~ u f .
ftrings of life, stilI facing more intrep;Jly the
approaching horrors of death.

Finally, there has appeared a Dian lipan whose
head every earthly prosperity had been showered
dol'l' n, for \\ hom the ordinary lot of mortals
seemed to have been expanded and ennobled,
and to have ~ v e n borrowed and realized some
of the golden dreams of imagination; lIlo:1arch
of twenty-five millions of l11ell, he bad en·
trusted to his own hands the whole llJass uf their
aggregate ha ppiness, in order to secure to him
alone the power of dispensing it alle\\'; for, in
this exalted rank and supercmiuent situation,
hi" soul had fcu,hiolled itself for the enjoyment
of every felicity; and fortune, \\hich for a
length of ages had assumed, in favour of his
race, the character of ill/lIllitable, never held out
to his refieClions even the chance of adversity,
1101' so much as hinted to his thoughts the pas.
sibilityof pain j wholly unacquainted with the
sense of remorse (for Ilis conscience taught him
to believe he was virtuous) there never even
glallced upon his breast any impressions but
such as were peaceful and serene. As neither
]lis lot in life, nor the cast of his character, had
prepared or inured him to the shafts of misfor•

tune, it was natural to suppose that his mind
must have sunk under the first gust of ad.
versity: this man, however, who did not pos-
sess sufficient energy for the assertion of his
power, and who left doubts concerning his
courage, as long as he seemed to want it in reo
pelling his enemies: this man, wbose timid
and \\ avering disposition did not permit him
either to confide in the counsels of others, or
\\ holly to adopt his own: this man, on a sud-
den, displayed a soul capacious of the sternest
resolutions, for he resolved to sufler and to die.
Lewis X\T found himself seated on the throne
durin:; the first burst of a revolution un paral-
leled in the annals of mankind: every passion
was armed against him, and vied with each
other in working his destruction; in himse:r
alone he imagined he beheld all the notions and
~
principles against which waf was made: amidst
this ero\\ d of dan gel's he persisted in listening
to no guide but the maxims of a superstitious
piety; religion alone as yet triumphed, but it
was at tLe n,oment when his misfortunes were
left \\ ilhout a hope, that the power of faith fully
dispbyed itself in the conduct of Lewis: the
strength of that unshaken conviction did not
permit even the shadow of weakness to be per-
ceived in his mind, and the heroism of philoso-
phy \\ as compelled to bow the head before
[ 255 J
the dignity of his simple resignation. He sub-
mitted \\ith calm 11l1concern to an the decrees
of fate, \\ ithout, howe\-cr, betraying," allY thing
like for t::c o1>jeOs of his atfetTion;
on the contrary, al1 the far-lIlties of his life
scemed revived and re-illvigorated at the mo.
ment of his death. \Vithout a gro:llJ, or even
a sigh, he retraced back all the steps that led
him from the throne to the scaffolcJ, and the
awful instant when these sublime words, t S01&
'1St. Lewis, ascend iI/to beal'Cl/,' were addressed
to his ears, such were the raptures of religion
with which his soul was swelled, that it is but
fair to suppose that even this his last moment
was not influenced by the terrors of death.
Candollr, I trust, \\iil not permit me to be
accused of giving but a faint colouring of the
influence of religion: I am far, nevertheless,
from thinking that, independent of the inutility
of the endeavour, which, in this we
might make within ourselves, the being thus
absorbed in faith, should be ranked among the

means which conduce to the happiness of man-
kind; it is foreign, moreover, to my su bjed, in
this first part of my work, to consider reiigioll
in its political relations, that is, in the advan-
tages that may result from it towal-ds the stabi-
[ 256 ]
lity and the happiness of the social state, it
being here simply Iny intention to tOllch lipan
it as far only as it mayaffeCl the happiness of
individuals.
And, in the first p]:!ce, tl1;;t disposition to
which the mind must be moulded in order to
admit the dogmas of certain religions, is felt
n0t \infrequently to awaken a secret and pain-
ful ser:\,ation in the breast of him, who, gifted
with an enlightened understanding, deems it,
however, hIS duty to employ it only on certain
conditions; but impressed occasionally, and at
inten'als, \\ ith coubts respecting every thing
that is contrary to reason, he cannot help feel-
ing scruples about his doubts, or a regret at
having sO far delivered up his life to uncertain-
ties, that he must either acknowledge to hilllself
the inutility of his past eXIstence, or still con-
tinue to sacrifice the remainder. The heart be·
comes as contracted as the mind, from devo.
tion, properly so called, which is a sort of ex-
travaQunce of the mind that discovers itself
~
under \'ariolls hues.
\Vhen devotion owes its origin to mbfor-
tune, when excess of suffering sinks the soul
into a state of faintness that disables it from

[ 25i J
raising itself by its OWI1 unassisted strength;
sensibility prevail> on us to admit wllat tend:;
to the extinetion of semibility; or, at least,
what prohibits from loving wil h the uncheck-
ed fcrw'ncy of the \\ hole soul. We solicit to
be forhid what it was not in our power to
avoid.
Reason thus enters into an unequal contest
with the impas.lir1llcd something enthu-
"iastic like passioll, some sort of tl.ollgHs, which,
like passion, influence and prevail on the ima.
gination, aff(lrd some relief to those minds that
ha\'e 1I0t sufficient strength to support what in-
gredients of passion enter into the composition
of their charaeter. This kind of oevr-tion is
always redolent of its origin; aild it is eVident,
as Fontenc11c \I ill have it, qlle l'all:rlir a passe par
la, that love has been thrre. And, indeec:, it
is nothing else than still con tin uing to love
under a difIerent torm. All these devices to
pal!i'lte or diminish suffering (llight neither
to incur censure, nor be creAcd into a general
rule; but tllat cxtril\'i1gant, high.flying devo.
tion which fOfms a p3rt of a man's charaCler,
instead or amJrding him a rcsource, is widely
diflercnt in effcCls upon mankind from that
which is considered as the end to which everv
• •
thin!!: tends, anti 8S what constitutes the basis
ef life.
2L
~ 0 -8 J
L _J
It is its almost inv&riable tendency to ex·.
tinguish our uatural good qualities; whatever
they posse-s of spontaneous and involuntary,
is incompatible \\ i t l ~ fixed established rt:les
upon every ohject. Underthe influence of this
devotion, a man may be virtuous, without the
prompting impulse of native goodness; there
mav even OCCIT circumstances in which the

severity of certain prinrip!es forbids us to yield
to this prompting- impulse. Chara{j ers, un.
endued with natural good qualities, may, under
the shelter of what is called devotion, feel
themseh'es more at their ease to indulge in cer-
tain failings that violate none of the laws, of
which the\' have formed for themselves a cone.
-
Pe\ and \\ hat is commanded, any omission of

performance is lawful. Justice dispemes with
beneficence, beneficence with generosity; and
if they bd pay up the balance of their ollties,
they rest satisfied: there are, however, circum.

stances in Ere where such or such a virtue is
clearly commanded, and where it requires a
real sacrifice to be made. But there are kind·
nesses, there are services, there are condescen-
sions, \\ hich helong to almost evcry instant of
life, which never can be obtained at the hands
of those \, ho square every thing by the rille of
duty, and \\ho obey nothing but where abe.
dience is enforced. Natnral gond qualities, tLat
arc ccveloped by principles :.lnd cdict! forth by


C259 J
sentiments of morality, are of a much higher
and more refined nature than the virtues of
devotion. He who never feels it necessary to

enquire into \\ hat duty prescri bes, because he
can trust to his own internal suggestions, and
whom one might suppose to be a less rational
being, so thoroughly does he aCt from his own
spontaneous impulse, or, as it were, in mere
obedience to his nature: he who praCtises every
genuine virtue, without previotlsly imposing
that praCtice upon himself, and who values him-
self the less, because, as his conduct never reo
quires the exertion of an effort or struggle, he,
therefore, never swells with the consciousness
of a triumph; he indeed may be pronounced a
truly virtuous man. According to an expres-
sion of Dryden, differently applied, devotion
may be said to raise a mortal to the skies, but
natural Illorality draws down an angel lIpon
earth: .
He rais'J a mortal to the skies,
She arew an angel down.
While we acknowledge the advantage thus en-
joyed by cllaraCters that lean to virUle from
their own natural unprompted inclinations, it
may also be imagined, that as devotion pro.
duces a general and positive eftc·: i, it mllst af.
• 1 •
ford more certain and more undorm reslllts 111
the general association of mankind; but it is
[ 260 J
s::I1, howP\'er, attended \\ ith gre:lt incanve.
r;JCilCeS \1 here the disposition is what \\ e call
i7i;P,i.'S!(!l d; and (Ven were it attended with
nOll::, tf:cre II, 'u:d, notl\ ithstandiilg, be more
prop: ;c:y, as I have already oboernJ, ill class.
in; it aniOng fortunate contingEllcics than in
tLe or erhL:lcious counsels.
It be necess:!.ry to that I do
not in tLi, i:lvestigatioll those religi.
at:s ;J','a'> of an higher \l'hich ellnoble the
CEO i!JrlUtllung thl' Jetaib of life, aml
\' i:it j: .;:;\ c :(' ,entin.eilt aad to fcr-
- .-
L:;. :. 0., Ci,b of repm,e ill t!.c vast of
i: firy. There is now merely question of
th"e r •. :ing (kgli,as \1 hich ami religion \l'ith
a IlI!.C!! !],O!c- po\\crlul influence over nJortal
li:'e, by realizing what remained .. float ill the
unsuostaLtiaJ void of the mind, and by cbeck.
ing the fligbts of ima;ination by the terrors of
ill coill prehen,i oility.
ArceTlt minds are but too prone to imagIne
that the is of no avail, and
that nothing suits their tcmpl'f I.£tter than a
kind of suicide of reaSOD, by \\ hich it abdicates
its own power by its oll"n last aCt, and declares
itself incompetent to think: as if there existed
in something superior to itself, which
\lias to decide m:m would be more surely
C261 J
guided by another of his own faculties. Ar.
den t winds are naturally satiated with what
and when once they bring themselves to admit
\\ lIa: is 511perna:ural, are no longer any
bounds to limit this creative pruriency, but
weh as can check the vagaries of imagination;
for it then \'ings its wildest nights; and, satis·
fied with nothing but extremes, it spurns the
idea of every thiug that is subje,1 to modifica.
tions.
,
The affeaions of the heart, whieh are inse-
parable fro:n truth} are necessarily dIstorted
from their nature by errors of \\ hatever kind.
Nor is it tile lll"nd alolle that errs; lor though
there in the heart crrtain virtlioliselllo-
tions which error cannot suppress, it 111ust,
however, be alia wed that i.'aslllllch
ment depends upon reflectioll, it lIlay be misled
by every kin d of extravagance, [Jut more partie
cularly by that of devotion, which concellters
every thing within itself alone, and subjects
even goodness to certain principles, by which
its exercise is considerably restrained.
I might now relinquish these ideal distinc-
tions, these shu'les of di5crimination in senti-
ment and passion, and proceed to mentioll the
exali" pIes that still remain of intolerant super.
stition, of pietism, of itliJlIlil/atioll, and of all
[ 262 J
those miserable effeers which arise from the va.
cuities in our existence; from the struggle of
man against time, and from the insufficiency of
n:ortul life to content us; but it is the province
of the moralist simply to n,ark out the path
that leads to the extreme of error. Everyone
is struck with the inconveniencies of excess;
and as no Olle can persuade himself that he \\ ill
be guilty of it, when we see these ill el1ecls de.
scribed in moral works, we il1\'ariably look
upon the piCture as wholly foreign to our·
scI Yes.
In whatever point of view 1 have surveyed it,
I think I ha\'e veen right in not admitting reo
ligion into the class of the resources which we
derive from ourselves, because it is absol utely
independent of our \\ ill, and because it su bjects
us to the dominion of our own imaginatioll,
and to that of all those to whose holy and awe-
ful authority we are taught to bow.
Anxious to continue consistent with the sys.
tem upon \\ hich this work is grounded, with
the sYstem that holds the absolute freedom of

the moral agent to be his chief good, I thought
it incumbent on me to prefer, and to particu.
Iari ze, as the best and surest preservative
at'uinst misfortune, those v:lrious means, the
-
efficacv of which I am now about to unfold.

[ ]
SFeTION THE THIRD.
-- - ---- ---- -+--
-
.- --
OF THE RESOURCES WHICH WE POSSESS WITHl:- Ot:R-
SELV:lS.
- ....:.= , ;;:::
CHAP. 1.
-, -------

.
WE DO NOT STAKD III SUFPICIENT DREAD OF MISFOR-
TUNE BBFORE IT US •

THERE is nothing which so little resembles
the resources which we possess within ourselves,
such. at least, as I understand them, as selfishness.
Selfishness constitutes acharacter which it is im-
possible either to amend by advice, or other-
wise to eradicate. It is an alTeCtion, whose ob·
ject, by being never absent or faithless, may so
far be produCtive of some enjoyments; but it
is also accompanied with deep-felt anxieties j
and like a passion that has another for its ob.
ject, it absorbs our faculties, without ensuring
that kind of enjoyment which is al ways insepa-
rable from self-sacrifice. Self. love, moreover,
Whether it be considered in a good or an evil
light, is a disposition of the soul wholly inde-
pendent of our will : to be infl uenccd by it reo

-
[ 261 ]
quires no effort on our part: we are, on the
contrary, impelled towards it. Wisdom may
be acquired, because it results from a number
,
of self-sacrifices: but to say that we can give
ourselves a taste for a thing, or instil into our-
selves any particular inclination, are expres-
sions that involve contradiction. In a word,
impassioned characters are never susceptible of
wh:lt is called selfishness: they impetuously
rush fOf\\'ard, it is true, towards their own hap.
piness; but it is never within themselves that
they seek it: they, on the contrary, expose
themselves'in order to procure it; nor are they
ever aCtuated by that prudent and sensual self·
satisfaction which quiets and composes the soul,
but never agitates ,or awakens it. But as the
present work is devoted to 'the study and de-
lineation of, impassio11ed characters,' whatever
does not coincide with that subject, mllst be
deemed foreign to its purport.

There is noquestion of the resources which
we mav discover within ,ourselves after the

storm of the more vehement passions is blown
over, resources of ,,,,hich we would be more
eager to avaw ourselves, Were we early im-
pressed with the notions I have endeavoured to
unfold in my analysis of tl,e affeCtions of the
- .
soul. Doubtless, if despair ",,'as always to reo


[ 265 J
,
solve upon suicide, the course of man's life
would then be fixed, and"mlght therefore be
,
more boldly :systernati:ted: ' He, might then,
without fear, run every possible' ha-zard in the
purSuit of what he deeins happiness: but
the man who can brave' misfortune has: never
laboured beneath its pressure.

• •
This' dreadful word, misfortune, is listened
to in the earlier days of youth, without the
mind being to comprehend it. Tragediesi
and of imagInation, reptese9t
versity to us as a piCl(lre where, beauty and
courage display their powers; but doath, or
some fortunate sacrifice, speedily relieves us
from the anxiety we experience. In our, ten.
derer youth,' the image of grief is inseparable
from a kind of sympathizing sensibility,. which:
mingles a charm with evety impression thatwe
feel: but it is too frequently enough to have at:.
tained our twenty.fifth in order to have
entered that period of misFortunewhich is traced
in. the career of all the passionS'.·
It is then tha't the duration of misfortuheis
as long as that of life, it is. theli that it
out of our defeCts, and ont of the nature of the
•situation that has faHen to our lOt; it is then
that it humbles our pride, and frets -our sensi;.
2M



...
C266 J
bility. The behaviour towards us of indifferent
,
persons, nay ofour most intimate acquaintances,
daily holds up to us' tbemirror 'of our misfor.
tunes; scarcely a rilinute paS:ies btit some word,
lSome gesture; even the most sirilple expressions
remind us of what we already know, but which;
nevertheless, strikes us as i(it wereunex.
pe8:ed: if we form any projeCls, they always
turn upon 'our predominant suff'er.ing; the pain
which this occasions, we find every where; it
seems to frustrate and render impraClh:able
even the very resolutions that cannot have the
least to it. Against this pain we .then

direct the whole of our nothing is
51? extravagant and frantic as the plans we pursue
in order to' subdue it; and the impraClicability
9f them all, which refleCl:ioJ1 clearly demon.
strates,becomes a new misfortune which we
inwardly to lament; we are overpowered
and oppressed by this sole idea,. as if we
struggled under the paws of some huge, enol'.
monster. 'Ve constrain our thoughts,
being wholly unable to divert or beguile them;
the very progress of life becomes a labour and
atrouble that does liot allow a single instant of
repose. Night the only thing we long and
for during the whole of the day; and to
awake again is an excruciating blow that rouzes
us every morning to the contemplation of oul,"
,-


C267- J

misfortune;. which- every morning strikes us
with the effect of surprise. . .
• •
T h ~ consolations of· friendship only play
npon the surface; nor does the person 'who loves
us the most sincerelv, conceive the thousandth
-
part of the thoughts that busy our mind on the
subje,ct of our distresses; they are thoughts, i r 1 ~ .
deed, that have not in them sufficient reality to
be embodied in expression; but whose impres-
sion is. however. sufficiently lively and ac.ute,
• •
to corrode the inward heart. except it be that of
love. and then. even while we are speaking of
another. we are occupied \yith ourselves; nor is
,
it easy to conceive how We can bring ourselves
to detain the attention of others with the tale of
our distresses; for what advantage. what 'conso-
,
lation can there be derived from it? Grief
strikes a deep root, and can be eradicated only
by some singular event. or by some great effort
of courage. When the pressure of misfortune
has weighed upon us for a length of time, it
carries with it something that dries lip the
heart, that jades and dispirits resolution, and
, .
makes us as \\ earisome to ourselves as we are
importunate to others. We feel ourselves pur-
sued and pressed upon by the consciollsness of
existence as by a poisoned dagger. We would,
glndlyobtain the pause of aday, the respite of
,
-

C!68 j
an hour. in to retrieve our that
we may again be enabled to wage the'-war
• •
within. ourselves; but we only endeavour to
rise while oppressed with a burden: we would
fain combat while embarrassed by self.obstruc.
tions; nor can \\e discover a single resting point,
upon which we might lean, in order to sub.
due what surrounds us. Imagination has taken

possession of every thing within us: grief meets
llS at the turn of every refiee.tion j whiie new reo
fleCtions suddenly spring up, which likewise
give birth to a new train of sufferings. The
horizon flies before' us in proportion as \\1.' ad.
vance towards it. 'VI.' endeavour to wrap our.
selves up in thought, in order to shut out sen
satiom; but thought serves only to multiply
them: in fine, we soon begin to persuade our·
o
selves that our faculties are decayed; and this
selfdeHadation benumbs the soul, without

abating any thing of the energy of grief. In.
V"i:l co we look for some' posture. of repose,
we can Bnd it in no situation: we are anxious
to fly from what we feel; but the effort whi<;h
thi:> anxiety suggests only adds to our agitation.
He who can suit his soul to melancholy, and
placidly consign himself to grief, without, how.
ev,er, ceasing to take an interest in himself;
such a man cannot properly be called mise.
rable. To be really miserable-, a man must be

,
r 269 J
disgusted' \\ith 'himself; he must feel hiniself op-
pressea by the senne of his being tied to his
existence; or, as if he were composed of two,
who are wearied and fatigued with one another:
he must have become utterly unsusceptible of
all enjoyments, of all amusement!> and. diver-
sions, and have his whole soul engrossed with
nothing but his sorrow: it must, finally,
be accompanied with something sullen and
gloomy, sOInething that dries lip every source
of emotion in the heart, and that leaves it open
but to one impression, that agitates, corrodes,
and consumes it. Suffering then becomes the
centre of aU his thoughts, and constitutes the
sole principle of life; nor can he otherwise re-
cognize himself but by his pains.
If words could adeq\lately express those sen-
. sations that are so deeply inherent ill the soul,
that every attempt to express tHemmust always
take away from their inten!>enessj if we could
previously conceive an adequate idea of the na·
tUl'e of misfortune; there would not, I believe,
be found a man who would fastidiously reject a
system which professed to have no other objeCt
than to avoid suffering.
Men of frigid dispositions, who are anxio\ls '
to ape the appearances of passion, are often



,


[ 270 J
'.

heard dilating on the charms of grief, on the
pleasures that may be derived from pain; and no-
thing, it duly considered,. will appear more false
.
and far-fetched than a saying that has passed for
pretty, I mean the saying of the woman, who,
her youtliful days, exclaimed; H tbat
indeed iJ.'as an bappy time, 1felt so
But such an expression would never have
vented by a heart that was truly what we call
impassioned: they are only your lukewarm lan-
guishing dispositions, who are wholly unac-
quainted \\ith real warmth, who thus inces-
santly hold forth on the advantages of the pas-
sions, and on the necessity of experiencing
their influence. But by ardent souls they are
seriously dreaded: by ardent souls every means
are eagerly grasped at that can shdter them
from grief. It is to those who have learnt to
dread it that these last refleBions.are addressed,
and it is especially to those who suffer that they
ran afford any consolation.

[ 271 J

CHAP. II.
."
05' PHILOSOPHY •
.,
. ,
PHILOSOPHY, to whose aid I deem it wise
that impassiolUd souls should have recourse, is .
of a nature altogether sublime. But to avail


himself of these aids, man must take a position
above himself in order to command himself,
,
and above others, that he may have nothing to
expeCt froIU them. Weary of exerting unavail.
ing efforts, in order to arrive at happiness, he
must resolve on relinquishing that last illusion,
which, while it bursts and vanishes, carries
away with itevel:'Y other. He must have learnt
to contemplate life passively, to endure an uni.
form state of body, to supply and fill up every
vacuity by thought, and in thought to survey
the only events which neither depend upon fate
or on mankind.
. When once he has settled within himself that
the attainment of happiness is impossible, he
is then nearer in his approaches to something
that resembles it, ali those whose affairs are

--.
,


( 272 J
embarrassed, can recover no peace of mind Un-
til they have confessed to themselves that they
ar.:- ruined. When once he has resolved upon
the s.lcrifice of his hopes, every thing that tends
to revive and inspirit them is an unexpel5led be.
nefit, the possession of which was preceded by
no kind of fear. . ,
There are a multitude of partial enjoyments
which do not flow from the same source,
but which hold out to man scattered, uncon.
neCted pleasures, which a soul at peace with
passion may be disposed to taste i but a vehe-
ment passion, on the contrary, absorbs them
all, nor does it so much as permit thehearUo
,
be conscious of their existence..
There is no longer a flower to be discovered
in the parterre which a beloved object has passed
through,' her lover can scarcely perceive in it
the traces of her footsteps. When the ambiti-
ous survey'these peaceful hamlets, over which
. . . 'I
nature has showered her choicest gifts, It only
occurs to their Dlind to ask whether the gover.
noraf the distriCt c:njoys niuch consid.eration
and power, and whether the peasants that in·
habifit have the privilege of electing a deputy.
. To the eye of the impassioned man, external
objects call up but one idea, because they sur·
,

,


,
[ 273 ]
veyed and judged of but by one and the same
bitt the philosopher, by the supe-
rior energies of his courage, rescues his thoughts '
from the yoke of passion, whereby he no longer
direCts them ali to bne singie objeCt, but is en·
abled to enjoy the mild h\lpressions which each
of his ideas may alternately and sepat'ately af.
ford him. ' ,
There is nothing which may so powerfully

conduce to make us regard' life only as a jour-
ney, as the considerati(jn that it discovers no·
thing which seems to initrk and otd"ilil1 it for a
place Of relit. Are you inclined to submit your
existence to the absolute dominion of some one
idea, or of some one sentiment?
step you niake is obstrhCl:ed by some cibstac1e
J
or conducts to some inisforttlne. , Are you dis-
posed to permit your life to sail on at the caprice
of the breeze, that gel1t1y \,;afts over a variety
of situations? Are you to procure for
each day a'certain portion of pleasure, Without
intending it shOUld contribute to the mass of
happiiless that is to compose the whole of your
delitiny? This object you may attain; and
when none of the events of life has been either
preceded or followed by vehement desires; or
by bitter regrets, then a sufficient share of hap-
. , ,
pines!> may be found in the isolated enjoyments
2N

, ,
"

[ 274}
" .
which are daily dispensed by the heedless. hand
of Chance.
,
If the life of man were to consist of but one
period or rera, that of youth, then perhaps it
might be permitted to run all the chances of
the greater passions. But as soon as the winter
of old age approaches, it points out and requires
anew mode of existence, and this transition the
philosopher only can endure with unconcern
and without pain. If our faculties, if our de.
sires, which originate from our faculties, were
to run in uniform accord with the tenor of our
destiny, we might indeed, at all periods of life,
enjoy some portion of happiness j but the same
blow does not strike atonce our faculties and
our desires. The)apse of time frequently im-
pairs ,1ur lot without having enfeebled our fa-
culties; and, on the contrary, enfeebles out'
faculties without having extinguished our de.
sires. The aCtivity of the soul survives the means
of exercising it; our desires survive the loss of
those pleasures to the enjoyment of which they
were wont to hnpel us. The terrors and pangs
of dissolution press" home u'pon us," amidst the
full co"nsciousness of existence. \Ve are, as it
were, called upon to assist at our own funeral;
and while we continue to hang with all the ve·

hemence of grief on this nlournful spectacle,
,
,
C275 J.
,-
we renew, within our own breast, tile Mezen.
tian punishment; we tie death and life together
in one loathsome embrace. '
When philosophy assumes the dominion of
theso,ul, its first aCt is, undoubtedly. to depre-
ciate the value both of what we possess and of
what we hope to possess. The passions, on the
other hand, magnify, to a grea, degree, the
prices of every t ~ i n g : but when philosophy
has once established this medium, or average
of moderation, it continues through the whole
of life: every moment then suffices to itself;
one period of life does not encroach upon the
other: nor does the hurricane of the passions
disturb their regularity, nor precipitate theil;
course: the .years roll on in one tranquil flow1
together with their events, and succeed each
, ' ,
other in un undisturbed course, agreeably to the
intention of nature, and give the breast of man
to participate in the silent calm of universal
order.
I have already observed, that he who can
place sliicide anlong the nuinber 'of his resolves
may fearlessly enter and run the career of the
passions ~ to, the passions he may consign his
life, if he be but conscious of sufficient resolu-
. ' ,
tion to cut short its thread the moment that
,
,
,
,
[ 276 J
th thunderbolt of Fate shall have blasted and
oestroyed the object of all his wishes and of all
his cares. But as a kind of instinct, which he- .
longs, I believe, more to our physical than to
our moral nature, frequently cqrnpels us to
preserve a life, every instant of which is markeO.
ar.d marred by misfortune, can it be conceived
an eas)' matter to run the almost certain chance
of into misery that will us exe-
crate existence, and of a disposition of the soul
that fills us with the dread of its dissolution?
and this, not because, under such a. situation
We can still have any chaqns, but we
must compress into one moment's space all
incentives of grief, in order to struggle
against the ever-recurring thought of death;
• •
and because misfortune spreads itself over the

whole extent of life; while the terrors that sui-
inspires concentrate into thy
of an instant: and, in order to effect the

a0 of self.murder, a man must take in the;! pic-
ture of his misfortunes, like the speCtacle of his
final end, aided by the of one
sentiment of idea.

Nothing, r.oweyer, inspires more
the possibility.of existing purely and simply;
and that, for want of sufficient resolution to die.
For, as it is our fate to he exposed to all the

'C 9.77 J
vehement passions, such an objeCt of dread suf.
fices to make us cherish that power of philoso.
. phy, which supports man at the level of the
events of life, without either attaching him to
it too closely, or making him shrink from it
with undue abhorrence.
Philosophy is not to be mistaken for insensi-
bility, though it dulls the poignancy of pierc-
ing pains. To arrive at that philosophy, whose
aids I am here extolling, requires an uncom-
mon strength, both of soul and mind; Lut in-
sensibility is a complexional habitude, not the
result of a triumph. Philosophy piainly be-
speaks its own origin. As it uniformly arises
from depth of reflection, and as it not ullfre-
quently is inspired by the necessity of combat-
:ng with our passions, it argues the possession
uf superior qualities, and affords an enjoyment
of one's own faculties, of which the man of in-
sensibility is wholly unconscious: to him the
intercourse of the world is better suited than tQ
the philosopher: he is under no apprehension
that the bustle and tumult of society shall dis-
turb that peace, the sweets of which he enjoys.
The philosopher, who is indebted for that
peace to the meditations of thought, delights
,
to enjoy himself in the bosom of retirement.

[ 278 J
The satisfaCtion which, flows from the pas.
5ession of one's self, acq\lired by meditation, .
~ .
b e a r ~ no resemblance to the pleasures enjoyed
by the selfish man; he stands in need of others;
he reql;ires many attentions from them, and is
fretfully impatient of every thing that molests
him; he is wholly engrossed by his selfishness,
and if that sentiment could have any energy, it
WOUiLl be marked with all the charaCteristics of
a vehement passion. But the felicity which the
philosopher derives from self- pos;ession is, all
the contrary, of all tile sentiments that which
renders a man most completely independent.
By the aid of a kind of abstraCtion, accom-
panied, however, by a real enjoyment, we raise
oursehes, as it were, to some distance above
ourselves, from whence we may look down and
observe how we think and how we live; and as
• •
it is not the objeCt of philosophy to controlll
events, we may consider them as so many mo-
difications of our being, that exercise its facul.
ties, and which, by a -,ariety of ways, accelerate
the progress of self-petjeEtabitity. It is no longer
in a relation to our destiny, but in the presence
of our conscience, that we p l ~ c e ourselves, and
by renouncing all attempts at influencing the lot
of mankind, we take a more vivid satisfaction
( 279 J
in the exercise of the power we have reserved
to ourselves, that of self.dominion; and through
the operation of that power we daily make
some successful alteration or dbcovery in the
only property over which we can be conscious
of possessing any influence or rights.
But this is a kind of occupation that requires
a state of solitude, and if it be true that soli.
tude is a source of enjoyment to thephiloso.
pher, then the philosopher is the happy man.
Not only is living solitarily the most perfea of
all states, because it is the most independent,
but also because the satisfaaion that is to be
derived from it is the very touchstone of hap.
piness; its source is so, inward and home-felt,
that when we' are in real possession' of it, re-
fleCtion draws us 'Still nearer to the certainty of
its, enjoyment.
, But forsQuls thlit are tossed aIid agitated by
vehement passions, solitude is a truly ' p e r i l ~
ous situation. That rest to which nature in.
clines us, and which seems to be the imme.
diate destination of man, that- rest, the enjoj'"
ment of which seems to have preceded even
the necessity of society, a.nd which becomes
still .more necessary after we have lived long
in society, that very rest becomes the torment
...


,
,
[2W J
of a man that is under the dominion of a vehe.
ment passion. And, indeed, as this calm se.
renity exists only around him, it forcibly Con.

trasts with his inward agitation, and even aggra.
vates its pain. Diversion is the method that
be first essayed, in order to mitigate the
violence of a vehement passion. The struggle
. must not begin at close quarters; fQr, before
an attempt has been made at living alone, we
,
ought already to have acquired some empire
over ourselves. Characters of an impassioned
cast, far from dreading solitude, are, on the
contrary, prone to court it; but this is but all
additional proof that solitude foments their pas.
sion instead of extinguishing it.
The soul, annoyed by the sentiments that
oppress it, it maY' alleviate its pain by
dwelling on it more intensely. The first mo·
ments that the heart gives a loose to its reveries
are attended with a ch2rming delight; but this
is an enjoyment that soon exhausts and con-
o
sumes. The imagination, which remains un-
changed, carries to an extreme all the proba.
bilities of unhappiness, though every thing that
could enflame it had been removed. In thig
state of loneliness and desolation, it surrounds
itself with chimeras: in 5ilence and retirement,
the imagination not being aCted on by any thing
,
[ 281 ]
real, it gives an equal degree of importance to
every thing it cre3tes ; eager to escape fronl the
present, it flies to the future, which is. much
more likl'ly to agitate it, being better suit'ed to

its distempered habit. The rulinjS idea that
commands it, being left unaltered by events,
assumes an endless variety of forms froOl the
busy workings of thought j the brain takes fire,
aild the po\\"cr of reasop is mO!'e than e ~ e r en·
feebled. Solitude, in its ultitl1ate effect,. com.
ph;tely terrifies the unhappy, and makes them
, believe that the pain they endure iseternaI.
the calm and silence that surrounds them
teems to inimlt the tumult of their soul. The
<lull uniformity of their days holds dllt no
change to them even of their suffering j the
violence of such unhappiness, in the very bosdm
.of retirement, furnishes a new proof of the fatal
infl uenee of the passions; they makt' us disrc.
}ish every thing that is simple and easy, and
though their source derives from the nature of
1uan, they are continually opposing t)hstacles
to his true destination.

fbI' the philosopher, on t h ~ contrary, solitude
is the first of blessings. For when tossed amidst
. the bustle of the world,· his r e f l ~ h l l , his reso·
lution frequently deserts him, and the Lest ea·
,2g
,
[ 252 ]

tabli5hed general ideas are made to yield to par.
ticular impressions. It is then that self.ga.
vernment requires a more firm and steady hand.
But in retirement and retreat, the philosopher
holds no converse but with the rural scenes that
surround him; while his 50\11 is perfeCtly attuned
and harmonized to the mild sensations which
these scenes inspire, and from which it derives
aids for thinking and for living; as it blit
rarely happens that we can arrive at philosophy
'\ithout having made some attempts at obtain.
ing enjoyments that are more a kin to the chi.
meras of youth. The mind that can bid theh1
an eternal farewell, makes lip its happiness of
a kind of melancholy, that possesses more
.charms than' is generally imagined, and towards
which every thing seems to draw us back. The
....arying aspects of the rural scene, and all the
incidents that diversify it, are so harmoniously
adjusted to this moral disposition, that one
might be tempted to believe that Providence
intended it should become the general disposi-
tion of mankind, and that every thing concurred
to inspire it, when we arrive at that period of
life when the soul begins to' be wearied with en.
deavouring to fashion its own lot, when it tires
even of hope, and sighs only for the absence of
l}ain. All nature seems to acquiesce and partido
pate in t h e s ~ n t i m e n t s which men at that period
,

[ 283 J
nf life seem to experience; the murmurs of the

wind, the roar of storms, the still serenity of a
summer's evening, the hoary frosts of winter, all
these movements of the elements, all these dif.
ferent pictures, beget similar impressions, and
breathe upon the soul that mild melancholy, the
most congenial sentiment of man, the natural
result of his destiny, and which constitutes the
only situation of the heart which leaves to me.
Gitation all its activity and all its force.


,



-

C285 :l

• •

.'

CHAP. rtI.
.01' STUDT.


• •
WHEN the mind is disengaged from the do.
minion of the passions, it enables man to in-
dulge in an exquisite enjoyment, I mean that
of study, the exercise of thought, of that in-
scrutable and inexplicable faculty, the exami-
nation of which would suffice for the whole of
its own occupation. if instead of being gradu.
ally unfolded, it had been bestowed upon us at
once in all its plenitude.

When the hope of making SGme splendid dis-
covery. or of .bringing forth a work that must
attraCt general admiration, is the scope of our
endeavours and the object of our ambition, a
treatise on the passions ~ h o u l d be the place to
recordthe history of the influence which such
a disposition may exert over happiness. But
there is also, in the mere pleasure ·of thinking
and of'enriching our minds with the knowledge
and the t h o u g h t ~ of others, a kil'!d of inward and

home-felt satisfaction which equally grows out








C286 J .
of the necessity of being in action, and out of our
desire to arrive at perfection:. sentiments which
are natural to man, and which tie him down to
no kind of dependance.
Physical labours afford to a certain class of
society, though by means altogether different,
nearly similaI: advantages with regard to their
happiness. These labours suspend the action
of the soul; they beguile time; they permit us
to live without suffering. Existence is l! benefit
which we do not cease to enjoy ; but the mo.
ment which succeeds to labour, sweetens and im-
proves the sentillJent of life, while, in this suc-
cession of toil and repose, there is no room left
for moral pain.
?vIan, whose faculties of mind must be em-
ployed, derives also from that exercise and em.
ployment the means of escaping from the tor.
ments of the heart. Mechanical occupations
tranquillize thought, while they tend to extin•

guish it; and study, by directing the mind to.
v.ards intelleCttlal objects, in like manner di.
verts it from ideas that annoy. Labour, of \.hat.
soever nature it may be, vindicates the soul
from the tyranny of the passions, while .their
. .
chimeras start up and infest only the leisure and
the holidays oflife.
,


C287 J
Philosophy benefits us only by what it takes
away: study impal:ts a portion of the pleasures
which we eQdeavour to derive from the passions:
it is a continual aclion, and man cannot with-
draw himself from action, because nature im-
poses on him the exercise of the faculties which
nature has To genius it may be
proposed to delight in its own powers and pro.
gress; to the· he.art\l to cohtent itself with the
good it can do to others. But no kind of l;e'
HeClion can derive happiness from the nothing-
ness of eternal sloth.
. The love of study, far from depriving life of
tpat interest which it is eager to inspire, carries
with it,. on the contrary, all the chara.steristics
of passion, .except that one only which causes

all its misfortunes, namely, its dependance upon
chance and upon mankind. Study holds out an
object which is sure to yield in proportion to
our efforts, an objeCt towards which our pro.
gress is certain, while the road that leads to it
exhibits variety without the dread of vicissitudes.
and ensures success that can never be followed

by a reverse. Study conducts liS through a
series of new objects; it supplies the place and
effect of events, or furnishes such as are
dent for thought, and which exercise and
arouse it, without any application for foreign
aid.. . _


, ( j
Days that are m:lrked with a' 'sad
by misfortune, or with a dull uniformity, by
irksomeness, furnish the man, whose time is
, -
employed by study, with a great variety of in.
cidents. At one time he lights on the solution
of a pro.blem, which for a length of time had
puzzled his ingenuity; at another he is struck
with a new beauty that shines upon him in an
unknown work; in fine, his days are 'sweetly
diversified from each other by the diflerent
pleasures, the poEsession of which his powers of
thought have atchieved; and what gives ape.
culiar and marked characteristic to this kind of

enjoyment is, tbat the consciousness of having
felt it in the evening secures the repetition of i,t
,
the next day. The great point to be attended to;
is to give one's mind that impulsion which com.
mands and regulates the first operations; for
they bear away with them every other.' In·
struction ,begets. curiosity. The mind rejeClsj
as it were, spontanEOusly, what is imperfeCt
and incomplete; it delights in a finished whole,
:md advances direCtly tll"ards its object' j and
\\ ith the same spring with which it bounds to·
wards futurity, it aspires to the knowledge of a
Dew concatenation of thoilghts, that risea Le.
fore its effort!, and gratifies its hopes.
,
Whether it be employed in reading, or ill
composing, the mind performs a labour that
-
[ 289 J
contimlally home to it the consciousness
, .
of the jllstnessof its prodllClions or the extent or
its powers, and without aliy refleCtion of .selie
• •
love, itself with this enjoyment, i.t be.
comes as real as the pleasure derived by a 1'0'
bust man from bodily exercises proportioned
tci his strength'. Rousseau, when he
the first impressions inspired by the statue of
Pigmalion, imd before he supposes him to taste
of the pleasure of loving, makes hinl experi.
ence a real enjoyment in the sensation of self.
It is especially by the combining and develop.
ing of abstract ideas, tha't the mind is daily
• •
enabled to expatiate beyond the limits that
yesterdlly confined its range, and that the con-
sciousness of one's moral existence becomes. a
lively lind :t delightful sentiment, even though
a certain degree of las'situde should succeed
to this fatigue of self-exertion. The labo\lr of
shidy w'ould consign us, not to the SUfferings
of the heart, but to pure and simpIe pleasures,
to the' sleep of thought, in a word, to rest. '
,
The soul discovers a vast source. of consol:z.
tion in the study of the sciences, in the conteil1"
pl;non of its own ideas. The consideration of
. our own· particular lot is swallowed up in· that
Qf'the,wAoie universe. which unveils itself tQ
our How numberless the refleCtions wh.ich...
. "
. . 2 l'

-

[ £90 J
while they tend to generalize in-
cline us to regard ourselves as one of the
thousandth combinations of the universe, and
• •
by raising· in our estimation the faculty ,of
thought above that of suffering, prompt us to
assign to the former the right of prescribing
to the latter. Without question, (he impres-
sion of p:lin is absolute for hinl \v,ho feels
and each person endures it according to him-
self only: it is certain, nevertheless, that the
study. of history that the knowledge ?f the
calamities that have befallen ollr fellow-men
• •
before our time, delivers up the sOlll to a train
of philosophical meditations, from which arises
. ..' .
a melancholy that is more easily to be endured
than the pain which accompanies our own mis.
fortunes. Subjection to a common law from
which no one is exempt, never gives rise to
those gusts of rage which an unexampled un.
fortunateness would excite: for, while we re-
flect on the generations that. have succeeded
each other throllgha succession .of sorrows and
• •
of ills, while we contemplate those \\Orlds with-
out number, where millions of beillgsare tast-
ing, at the same time with us, .either the bliss
. ..
or the bitterness of existence; the' intense Jl.r.
- .. . .
dour even of the individual seQtiment begins
to and abstraction steals· liS from our.
selves. . .
[ 291 J
, ,
Whatever difference'of opinion may be enter.
'. - ,
talI1cd on other subjects, no one can deny but
that a belief in the imniortaJity of the soul af.
I .' • .'
fords an exquisiteconsolatiol1; and when we
yield and permit the reins to the direCtion of
thought, when under that dirertion we take a
wide survey of all the mO'8t metaphysical can·
ceptions, perceive that it embraces the uni·
verse, andtransports us beyond the boundaries
of the material space we inhabit. The wonders
of what' is infLlite appear of higher probability;
every thing, except thought, loudly proclaims
dissolution; existence, happiness, the passions,
all ali the three great reras of life; to be .
born,' to and to die. But thought; 011 the
contrary, advances bya kind of progression,
the terln of which we cil11l1ot descry; and for'
thought; is ah;eady begull. Several'
writers havi discovered andadvariced the most
. '.'
subtile reasonings in proof of materialism; but
the' instinct condemns that effiJrt of in.
genuity; and" he who, armed with all the reo
Sou'\;ces of thought, impugns the spirituality of
. ': ,
the soul," never fails to' meet with moments
, . ,
wilen. even the 5,uccess· of his eHarts begets'
he endeavour8 to confirm. The
•. . • , - I
man, who, lin biassed by allY parti.
cltlar system, yields iil1plicitly to his impres.
sions, must derive fr0111 the exercise of his in.
,

C2fl2 J

telleCiual faculties, a mare lively hope of the
immortality of the soul.
That undisturbed attention which study and
ilJeditatioll require, by diverting us from too
close and anxious a pu(suit of our private inte-
rests, enables us to form a clearer judgment of
them. It is true, indeed, that an abstraCt
truth' brightens into greater perspicuity, the
more inte::£cly it is considered; but ordinary
bminess, or::n event that nearly concerns ,us,
i.e; s\\ol!en into· undue magnitude, or distorted
from itsnatural form, by being perpetually pored

lIpon uS the determination we have to lake reo
speer ingt bese concerns, <Iud depel1'.is upon aslIlall
lluml-er of simple and rapidly conceived ideas;
time is employed on them, beyond.
, .
that pbiut, is whoJJy engrossed by the illusions

of the imaginatiun and the heart. These
sians constitute a l'art of the ohjeCl: itself,
and become inseparable fron;l it, till. they abo
the soul, by opening an .iinmensl: and end·
less career to fears imd to.Qur regrets.
The \\ ise moderation of studious philosophers
depends, perhaps, as much on the small inter-
val of time which they devote to conteniplat.
ing the events of their lives, as upon the degree
of courage which they evince in supporting
them. This natural effect. of the diversion of


,
C. 293 1
mind, whic\l arises fl'om study. is the most ef.
ficacious aid it can furnish·towal"ds the allevia-
tion of pain: for it would be impossible for any
man to live, were he to be continually on the
stretch of unremitteQ effort. It requires no'
vulgar strength of complexional disposition to
ella ole us to resolve Oil the first attempts i
but the success \\' hich they ensure becomes a
,
kind of habitude that insensibly blunts the
sharper sufferings of the soul.
If the fire of the passions were continually to
revive from their ashes. men would be always
c{lmpelled to yield to aCtivity; for it is
impossible to wage so many conflicts, which'
cost the conqueror so dear. But we soon ac-
cllstom oursclvestoderive real enjoyments from:
other sOlirces than the Stl bjllgation of the pas·,
sions; and \\'e assert our happiness both by the
occupations of the mind, and by the perfect in-
dependence they bestow. To be consciou6 of
deriving from one's self alone a
destiny; to be happy, not by the indulgence of
but throug.h the 'exercise of one's·
own faculties, places us in a situation which.
flatters, while it calms, the soul.
Several incidents in the lives of the ancient
,
philosophers. of Archimedes, of Socrlltcs. and


"
C294 J
of Plato, have, indeed, given no small room
. , ,
for imagining, that study was a passion; but
,
though the vivacity of its pleasures might be•
. tray us into this mistake, the nature of its at.
, ,
telldant pains could not fail to correa it. The
greatest chagrin that can attend'the pursliits of
,
study are the obstacles and, difficulties thatmay

retard it: but even these contribute to sharpe!1
and improve the pleasure of success. The
mere of study never commits liS
\,ith the will of other men: what species of
, ,
pain can it, therefore, subject us to? ..
, ,
, ,
In this kind of taste and propensity' of the
mind there is nothing natural but'the pleasures
it afforcls. Hope and curiosity, the' only ne.
cessary stimuli to 'man, are suffiCiently kept
alive by study, though the passion's should
- .. _. - ,
ll1aindormant. ' The mind requires,"to ,be
tated mOre than the soul. It is theriiind that
we ought to nourish, and which w'e rilay stir
tip \\ ithout danger., degre¢ of agitatioh
it requires is altogether to be found in the oc,
cupatfons of "Study;' and' how high :so,ever' we
may strain the sense: of' that attends it,
"-e bhaII only enhance our enjoyrl1ellts; \vithout
ever exciting a regret. S9me Qf .,andents,
rather 'enthusiasts in their idea 6ftheenjoy-
ments· of to' p:er;uade them·

[ 295 ]

selves that the bliss of Paradise consisted solely..
in the.pleasure of exploring and discovering
the won,<;lers of the world. Indeed, he who
daily grows in information, who masters, at
. . .-
least, the small portion of knowledge that Pro-
, .
hath,.permitted to the milld of mau,
seelJls to the taste <?f immortal
"
delights,and already, in some measure, to spi.
ritualize his being.
, All. the periods of life are equally well
,
adapted to the enjoyment of this felicity: first,
because it is sufficiently demonstrated by
perience, .tha.t, by a constant exercise of the
mind, we may hope to prolong the energy of
its poweJs: and, moreover, though we should
. , ,
not succeed in this, we are sure that our intel,
: .,' .' , " '
leRual and decay together
relish that serve to
them, leaving i,l,l the any
to of his
declille. , the career, of every thing
from. bUL\\,c. nlust
qave an over our 0v.:n
, . .
souls, be{or.e '\ve can prev.en,t it from disturbing
tlie free cxerci'seof thought.
I '.. • r •
• • • •
By :1 man of impassiolzed dispo,si.tion,·
• •
without having made any prepara.·
" ,

-

r 296 J

tions, should take ·it into his head to devote him-
self to study, there could be reaped from it
none of the advantages which I have now been
describing. To him all species of instruction
must appear tedious and insipid, when com-
pared to those musings of the heart, \\ hich, by
plunging and absorbing !-Is in one predominant
thought, give to long lingering hours scarcely
the appearance of an instant! The folly that
results from the passions does not consist in
confusing all our ideas; but in fixing us per-
manently upon only one. There is nothing
can divert the attention of a man who has sub-
mitred himself to the dominion of one particu-
lar notion: either his mind· beholds no objeCt
at all, or it beholds ·only such as continually
recall that notioh. Whether he be employed in
speaking or in writing on different subjects, his
continues, during the whole of the time, to
linger under the pressure: of one and the same
pain: the ordinary actions of. life he performs
as jf he were in· the state of a somllambulist;
every thing that thinks, every thing that suf-
fers within him, is tinged by one inward senti-
tnent, the irritation of which- does not adnlit
the l'ause of a monlent: he is soun seized with
an disrelish of every thought
that is foreign 'to the one that engrosses his at·
tention; his ideas do.not link together
J
' or as.-


..

C297 J
sodate in his head, nor do they imprint the
slightest vestige upon his memory. To the im·
,passiolled and to the stttpid man study causes
an equal degree of irksomeness: in neither
'does it create any interest to win attention;
for, from different causes, the ideas of others
cannot n ~ e e t in them with any thing like acor.
responding idea. The soul, at length, wea.
ried and fatigued) yields to the impulse that
hurries it along, and consecrates its sblitary
hours to the thought by whiCh it is pursued.
But it Soon finds reason to repent of its weak.
ness; for the meditatiolJs of the impassCOllca
man beget hlOnsters, while those of the learhed
produce fair forms of wisdom. The wretch is,
then, once more compelled to resort tti stUdy,
,
in order to escape from his pain. Aibldst a
thousan'd unavailing efforts; he grasps at amo.
'1l1ent of reflection: he prescrioes to hhnself a
,certain Occupation for a limited tihle; and this
time is devoted to the impatient desire of
i3'eeio'g it elapsed: he frets and iOlportunes him.
hot that he may live, but that he may not die;
and the whole of his existence is but one rest·
,
less effort to 'eoaple him to support it.
Thi.s piCture jg by no Tneans intended to
,
prove, the .in:tnity of the resources which study
fllay IHIPP]Yj' btlt it is utterly impos5ible for the
2Q
,
(298 J
-impassioned man to enjoy these, unless, by a
.long train of refleCtions, he prepare. himself
torecover his independence: while he-remains
a slave, it is in vain for him to attempt tasting
those pleasures, the enjoyment of which can
only be approached by a full and conlplete free·
dam of the soul.
Incessantly do I pore upon certain pages of a
book, inti tIed The 11ldimz Hut: never have I
met with any thing so profound in the mora-
.lity of feeling as the picture that is there drawn
of the situation of Paria, of that man of an ac-
cursed race, forlorn and deserted by the whole
universe; wandering at night amidst the silent
-tombs, and inspiring his. fellow. beings with
horror, though guiltless himself of any crime:

in a word, the outcast of this world, upon which
the grace oflife had thrown him. There'you see
man exhibited in a real struggle w i t ~ his own
strength: no living being comes to his relief;
no living being takes' any interest in his exist-
ence: his sole comfort is·the contemplation of
Nature, and with the contemplation of Nature
he is satisfied. I,'!'
. Such is the life which the man of feeling
--
drags on upon this earth; he also is of a race
,Proscribed: his voice is unheard or unheeded;

,
[ 299 J
his sentimcnts only tend to sequester him; his
are never accompUshed i e'v.ery thing
around him either kceps at a from
him, or approaches him only to molest him.
0, beneficent God of Nature! raise him above
the sufferings under which his (ellow.men will
not to oppress him! .lc.nable him to avail
himself o.f the fairest of thy gifts, tile faculty
of thinking; not that he may experience, but
that he may form a j udgment of mortal life!
And if chance should happen to form an union
the most fatal to human happiness, namely,
the union of genins with sensibility, do not
then abandon those misernble rcings who are
thus destined to perceive every thing, mid to
,
suffer from every thing which they perceive;
uphold their reason to the pitch of their affec-
tions and their tdeas, 'and enlighten and cheer
them with the s,ame fire which served only to ,
consume them!
,
,
,


.c 301 j


CHAP. IV.
- -
,
\

OF BENEFICENCE.
,
PHILOSOPHY requires a certain energy of
charaCler: study requires something systematic
in the mind; but woe to t h ~ s e who are unable
to avail themselves of the last consolation, or
rather of the sublime enjoyment which is still
in the. power of every man, whatever may be
his cast of chara8er, or whatever the nature of
the.situation in which he may be placed.
I felt it no easy sacrifice to confess, that to
love passionately did not constitute leal happi-
ness: I therefore now endeavour to find out,
in independent pleasures, in the resources we
possess within ourselves, the most congenial
situation to the fruition of sentiment....---Virtue,
at least ill my conception of it, is nearly con-
neCled with the heart: I have called it Bentji-
cence; not in the very limited sense which is
generaIly given to the term, but to specify
thereby all the aCtions that emanate from aClive

goodness.
,
..
-
,
,
-
[ 302 ]
Goodness is the primitive virtue; it exists, it
lives by a spontaneous :, and as it
alone is indispensably necessary to human hap.
piness, it alone is engraven upon the heart of

man; while the other duties, to the discharge
of which we are 'unprompted by goodness, reo
main consigned to those codes which a diver-
-
sity of country or of circumstances may modify,
or recommend too late to the knowledge and
attention of nations. But the good-natured
man is of every age, and of every nation; his
character depends- not upon the degree of civi-
lization which may prevail in the country that
gave hini birth; in him is t'xhibi.ted moral na-
ture in her p'l!rity, moral nature in her essence:
we there behold, as it 'were, that prime of
beauty wh.ich adorns youth, and in which every
thing is though unlaboured . Good-
,
ness li..es within us as the principle of life,
without being the effect of our own will. It
seems to be a gift of Heaven, like all our facul-
ties: it aCts unconsciously; imd it is only by
comparison thilt it learns to appreciate its own
value. Until he had fallen in with a bad. man,
'-
the good man could n6t have conceived a cast
of disposition different from his own. The
melancholy knowledge of the human heart, to
which we are introduced by an acquaintance
with the world, enables us to derive a most

. ,
- ,
[ 303 J

-
-
lively pleasure from the pracHce of goodness.
We set an higher value upon from
seeing how few can attempt to rival USj and
this reflection makes us aspire to the perfection
of a virtue, to which the miseries and the guilt
of the world have left so many 'evils to redress•


,
Goodness participates also in all the enjoy.
ments of sentiment; but it differs from senti-
,
ment by that eminent characteristic, to which
is invariably attached the secret of human hap.
piness or of human misfortune. Goodness nei·
ther wispes for, nor expects any thing from
others; but concentrates the whole of its feli·
city in the consciousness of its own feelings.
It never yields, or even listens, to anyone
suggestion of selfishness, not so much as to the
desire of inspiring a reciprocal sentiment: it
enjoys nothing but what itself bestows..When
this resolution is faithfully adhered to, even
those, \\ ho would disturb the tranquillity of life,
were we to make ourselves dependant on their'
gratitlide, afford you, some tran-
:>ient gleams of enjoyment by the mere expres-
sion of that sentiment.. The first impulses of
,gratitude leave nothing to be l()oked .for; an<,i
in the emotion which accompanies them, every
sort of charaCter seems to brighten. It would
appear as. if the present \vere a certain pledge


[ 304 ]
of the future; and when the receives
the promise,--withollt being in peed of Its per-
formance. the very illusion which it glances on
him is innocent ,of all danger, and the imagina.
tion n;ay enjoy it, 3S the miser enjoys the. plea.
sures \\ !lich his treasure. would procure him,
could he ever bring himself to lay it out.
,
,
,
, . .
There are virtues wholly made up of fears
and of sacrifices. which, w.hen brought to their
most accomplished perfettion, may afford to
the eliergetic soul that can them a
,
very high and very refined satisfact.ion: but;
perhaps, the time may come when observatiol1
will discover. that whatever is not natural is 110t
necessary; and that morality, in differentcoun-
tries. is not less encumbered with 5uperiltition
than religion. As ,far;. at least, a:> we have
happiness in view, it is imFssible to suppose
it to be found in a "ituation that calls for· the
exertion of continual efforts: but goodness
fords such easy and such simple enjdyments;
that their impression does nllt' depend
1,lpon the- power of refleCtion; .. .
If, however, a rethjspe61ive view is to be
taken of one's self, then every step yoa go back
is cheered by hope.· The goodbne has
serves a kind which imagination in-

' .. I _
,

" .[ :305 J
tt-rpOS'C5 between OlH:"S self and misfortune; and
, .
should we even be pursued by nJisfortune, we
,are not at a loss for an asylum \\herein to
refuge: \\e are illlmediately transported in

thought to the happy situation which the bene·
fits we have conferred must ensul'e us.
" '
.,
, "Were it trlle, that, in'the nature of things.
there' should' have arisen abstacles to that pel;'
, .
feet felicity which 'it may be t11e will or the Su·
• • • • •
preme Being to "bestow uponlns creatures,
goodness would' still continue to promote the
intehtion of Providence; and if I may
50'speak, endeavour to second its operations.
• • • • •
,
.. How happy is the' man who· has to
save the life of a fellow-creature! He can ,no
longer indulge the idea of the inutility of his
existence; he can no Jonger feel burthensome
OJ' loathsome ·to Limself. How far more happy'
still is the man who has securely eotablished'
the happiness ofa feeling heart! In saving the':
life of another \ve cannot 'ascertain the nature

of the favour we bestow: but when we r,;-sclie'
u' man fj'om the gripe of grief or pain, when
\ve O-pen anew the source of his enjoyments,'
we may rest asslIfed that we have aCted as his
benefactor.
2R
,
[ .306 J
It is not in the power of any event to abate
, '
an atom of the which

has procured us. Lpve. has often been ob.
served to be\\,!ilhis own ambition
discovers in them the causes of his
but goodness, by aiming at no objeCt but

mere enjoyment of its own acts, can ,!lever be
deceived in its calculations. Gooduess has 110·
o' ....:
thing to do either with the past or the future:
a series of present constitutes its life;
. .. .
the equilibrjum of its soul is so perfeCt and uni.
,
form that it is violently hurried towards
any particular period or jlny particular idea i
its and its efiorts bear equ;llly on evel:,}'
day, tccause they belong to a septimcnt that is
always the SJ!11e, andwhi!=h !t is always easy to
. ,

, ,
It is cert(linly by po means true,
passions 'tp estrange us from ,gopdness :
there is one .of in particul!1r rlisposes
the h,eart to pity misfortupe : bufit is not

amidst th.e tempests ",rich that passion exc,ites
tLat the soul call develope (lnp- flJlIy feel the in·
fluence of the beneficent virtues. The happi-
l:ess which arises frop.) the passions produces a
diversion tco powerful, or the they
Faul;e engender a despair too fierce t9 permit a

CS07 ]

,
,
. - . . . . .
'man,. tinder their controul, to retain the free
, ., ,f • I f
(xercisenf, any far.ulty. The sufferings of
'may easily affect a heart already moved by rts
,"', . . . ." ;
Q\Vn particular situation; but passion continues
. fixed on' nothi'ng but its own ohjetl:. The en.
. . '. .
joyments which a few acts of beneficence might
- . . " .
procure are scarcely perceived by thcimpassionea
heart that performsthell1. Could PrometheusJ
\V'hile tied to his rock of torri1elit, be sensible of
the smile of returning spring or the serene cf·
• •
flilgcnce of a summer's day r ' While the
ture sticks to the hc:.ll't, while it gn'aws and de.
"olirs the principle of life, there is the situ:ltiort
that calls for perfeCt ease or death: no
l
partiiil
consolation, no random, fortuitous pleas·ui·e can
be of any efficaCldus aid. As} however, the
, .
, soul is ahvays more capable of the sllbliillevir-
tues, and of the rimre reAned enjoyhlents, when
irhas been tempered in the furnace of the pas.
o •• '
sions, and ,when its triumph has not been
"ch'ased without a conii ict; so also evel1 gdddness .
, . • _ I
does not become a living sOurce of happiness,
. unkss fdl' him in whos-e heart has germinated
the the pussions.

He 'Whd has felt the laceration of the tender
. '.'
lWl!Blo11:"of'anlent illLisions, and even of \dld
a-nd Ula:ddirig is intimately acqultinfed
wTtI'!" of i11isfortune, and iii
,
,
[,508 J
his endea.vours to soothe them, "a. pleasure,
wholly unknown to that species of men,"w,ho segm
to be but half-formed, and whose' tranquillity
is oWing only tp their deficiencies of perfeCtion."
He who, from his own fault, or through chance,
waded through a of, suffedngs,
eager to obviate the recurrence of
scourges that continually hover over our heads;
and.his soul, still prone to pain, endeavours to
rest on that kind of prayer which to him ap'
pears most efficacious. '
Beneficence fills the heart as occupies
the mind: it is also attended with the pleasure
of arriving ,at' self. perfeClion, with indepen-
dence upon and with the conscious and
constant exercise of one's faculties. But. that de-
, .
gree of sensibility which inheresin thing
that interests the soul, converts the exercise
of goodness 'into an enjoyment, which
can supply the vacu,um which Pllssiqns leave
after them. The.. passions cannot, let them-,
. ' .
selves pown to c.0llverst: with objeCts pf an in·
ferior order; and the abyss which ,thes.e vq1ca·
noes have sunk so deep, can only be filled up
by acti and rapturous sen W;hich
beyond .ourselves .the ,objeCl;pft.Qur
, .'
tboughts, and teach us to consider not
in relation to ourselves, ,but as it regards others.,
\ -. .. _. ,-
, ,
,
,
,
,
[ 309 J'
This 'is, the most natural resonrce, the most
congenial gratification to impassioned charaCters
that 'always retain some traces'of the' emotions
they,;have subdued;' Goodness does not, like
ambition, a return for what it per(ormsj
but it, at the time, supplies the means of
extending our existence, and of exerting an in-
fluence over the lot of many, Goodness does
11Ot, like'love, make the desire of being beloved
its main·springand its hope. It moreover
mits us to indulge the mild emotions of the
healt, and to taste of life beyond the sphere of
our own destiny. In a word, whatevel' is
in the passions is also to be found in the
exercise of goodness: and this exercise, though
the noblest employ of'the most perfect
is also no' 'tinfrequently the phantom of the
iIlUSiOllS of the mind and heart.
However, desoIate or obscure be the situation
into which chance may have'thrown us,
ness' can extelid effeCts of ourexiste'nce, and
bestow upon every indivi.dual one of the attri-
bntes of power, that of influencing 'the lot of
,
others. 'The'multitude of evils that maY be
, . ,
brought upo'n 'us by the most common run of
men -or 'every inclines us to imagine
'whatewl" may be his
'Jilight, bydevotinghimselfs9!ely,to
,



,
I 310 J
the impulse of goodness, create an interest for'
" ,
his heart, an aim for his endeavours, aed arm
in some measure, with a kind of go.
verno:ent, 'not \\ ithstanding the narrow limits
that confine Ilis destiny.
Behold Almont! his fortune is," indeed, li.
mited and impaired; but never has the voice of
distress, implored ,his compassion without'his
having immediately discovered the means or
affording relief, or, at least, of bestowing sOl'lJe
small temporary aid, to S:lVe the person who so·
licits it the painful refieaion of having solicited
'in vain, Altnont cannot boast of credit or pa·
tronage: he is the objeCt, however, of general
esteem; and his courage is universally acknow.
ledged: he never speaks but to f<?rward the in·
terests of another: he is never without some
resource to hold out to misfortune; and he does
. .
more to relieve it than the most powerful mi·
nister; he devotes to its relief every refleCtion

of his mind: nevel; has he obsel;ved a Illan lao
bouring under affliCtion with,out remarking to
him exaCtly wbat is proper for him to heat;
without consulting his 01\"11 head and' heart, in,
order to discover the direCt or the oblique con·
solation which conforms.<lIld is requisite to such
a state of "miCtion; without sedulously examin.
what thoughts he should call up in hi,S


CgIl J


.mind, ,an.d which he ought to keep bUl=k : nnd
•• ,',..... ". 101 •
all: the least appearance of affecl;,l'
tionor of lubo·ur.
, " . I
, . - ,
..



• •
. This profound knowledge.of the human heart.
from which springs the. adulation. of courtiers
tp,wl\.rdl\ ,tlJeir sovereign masters, is
. ,
by' All)10nt to assuage the sufferings of the un·
" .
(ortullate.; The high minder;!. the
we respeCl:distress, and the lpwer w.e bow.
bc:fQre i't: If selflove seems. satisfied, Almont
.. . .
disr8gards it; but if it appears humbled, ifitre.
lents: into sorrow., he raises it up, he reinstateSt .
, .
itj::and cOhverts it into a prop and. support for-
the:mal1.whom that very self· love had laid low•.
,
Ifyon meet with Almont when your spirits are
his kind solicitous attention to what
yOifsay convinces you that you are in a situa·
tion. that creates· and c/?mmands an interest;
though the moment before you saw him, so dis-
pirited were you Ly your distress, that you.

took it for granted it must. prove irksome to
the ears of Qthers. It is impossible to listen
to him without the tenderness with which he·
touches on your sorrows awakening those emo·
tions of which your withered and exhausted
soul had .already become unsusceptible :..in· a
, _ • I
word, you cannot converse, howev.er slightly,
with him. Uiat he docs not hold out to you cn-
..
. ..'
,




[ J
. . '..
cQuragcnlcnts against despondency,: ilild new
incentives to hope: he relieves youi- 'grief froin
its fixed uniformity, and wins your imagination
to a different point of view, by exhibiting your
destiny 'ne\v and unexpeCted co'lours.
By the assistance of reason we niay 'have' some
power oyer ourselves; but it is franl airothet
we must expect the cons'olations of hope.
mont never thinks of displaying his prudence,:
while its' diCtates .cheer you with advice:; 'he en-
deavours to divert,' not· to lead you astray: he
watci,es the workings of your soul; but it is
.only to solace them: and his study of mankind'
has solely for its object to discover the Dleaus.
by which he may console them. Almont never
deviates from that inflexible principle; which
• •
forbids him to take any liberty that could prove
detrimental to others. As we contemplate and
refieCt on life, \\ e behold the greater part
of a.ortal beings 1'1 et and fume, and de-
ject: then;sclves, either for their own ·interest,
or mere:y from iI.difference for the .image or
the thought of that pain \\ hich their own hearts
refuse or are undisciplined to feel. 1Jay the
Almighty Almorit! - may all that
breathe adopt him as a model! Hr,indeed, is
a man; and a man such as nlankind should be
proud to re5cmblc]

[ 313 J
Without lilly inten "hatever to weaken
the sacred tie of religion, it may fairly be as·
,serted, that the basis of morality, cl:nsidered as
,
:i. principle, depends on the good or the evil
which we may do to others by this or that aC\ion.
On this groUild is it that mankind have an in-
terest ill ,the sacrifices made by each individual...
and that, as in the payment of duties and taxes,
we regain the value of what we individually sa-
crifice, in the share of protection we derive
from the maintenance of general order. All
the real virtues take their source in goodness;
and were ,we to form a tree of morality, in imi-
tation of that of knowledge, it would be to this
sentiment, in its most extensive
that we must ultimately trace back every thing
that inspires admiration or esteem. .


25
-'
,

,

toNCLUSION.
"
"
,
I dose this trst part: Lot to
hly entering on the second, it nuiy ,be proper
• I '. .
to i'wipitulate whiit I have already, advanced.
What! shali I be told, you condemiiall the
. " I
fmpassitmed Sad arid melancholyj
indeed, is the Ibt \\ hith you hold out to in<ln!
No spring to tnove hihl; no il}f:erest to entice
, '
him; no u!tillJate ohjeCl: to which he may tend!
But first iet it be relllembel'ed that I never
of drawing out the pitfure of happi-
ness: none bilt althYlllists; were they to eie.
'the tnoral world, could flatter thenlselVeS
1vith the hopeof making such a discovc(y: Illy
intention wlls solely to investigate the means of
from the.moi·e poignant pains, Every
minute that hlOi'al pains e-nd lll'e fillg me \dth
rearM appreQcnsions, in the same manner as
, ,
physical sufferings affright the generality of
hlankind: lind could they but prt'viously con-
e aa (-qi.ially strikillg idea (if the suffei:illg!'r
L316 J '

the soul, they would equal hor.
ror from the passions which expose'them to
those sufferings. Neither is it to be denied but
that we may find through life an interest, a spring
of aCtion, an ohject to\\ards which to tend, with.
out becoming the prey of impassioned enlotions.
Every circumstance that occurs may deserve a
preference over this or that other; and every .
preference argues a wish, an aCtion: but'the
object of the desires of passion does not consist
in what is, but in what pJssion fancies to exist;
it is a species of fever, which continually
sents an imaginary end; that must be attained
"
by real means, and which, by settin!; man per.
petually at variance with the nature of things,
makes that essentially necessary to.his happiness
which it is impossible to accomplisli.
Those who extol the charm which the passions
diffuse through life mistake their tastes for their
passions. Our respeCtive tastes :stamp a llew
value upon what we possess; and upon What
we are likely to obtaill; but the pussions grasp,
with their full force and vehemence; at the ob-
jeCts we have lost, or at the advantages which
we make but unavailing efforts to acquire.
The passions are the spring ;md bound of man
towards ·another destiny they' importune liS
.a sense of the of our faclIlties,
..
,
[ J
,
and of the vanity of human life: they presage;.
a existence; but present
they, in the mean time, vitiate and annoy. ,
. While I described the enjoyments that arise
,
from study and from philosophy, by no Uleans
pretended 'that a solitary life was that which:
ollght to be preferred. Solitude is necessary
only' to those who cannot rely on their own
strength to rescue them from the dominion of
the passions which assail them in the world.
He surely is not unhappy, ",ho, while he dis-
charges SOl11e pubUc elilploy, looks for no other
recompeilcein the performance of his duty but
the.testiniony of. his ,own 'conscience: he surely
is not unhappy, who, bent. upon literary pur-
,
twits, thinks only of the pleasure of happily ex-
pressing his ideas, and of rendering tnem useful
to his fellow-men: he surely is not unhappy,
who, iil'Hie narrower circle of private life, rests
satisfied with the heart felt enJ.>yment of the
good he does, without exaCting the return of
gratitude it degerves : even in the case of senti-
ment itself, he who does not expect from man a
facuIty rather celestial than human, that of a
boundless, l1nlimited attachment, may delight ,in
thus devoting himself to another merely fo;' the
pleasure of this very self-devotion. In short, if
in these'dilferent situations we feel c01l5dotls QI'
,
\
,
[ 318 ]
stlfficient fortitude to rely' upon onrsel yeS 'aloneJ
and attach ourselves to nothing but what is reo
cognized by our own feelings, then there is IHI
necessity of seeking the rewurces of mere soli-
tude. Philosophy and its powers subsist within
ourseives; but the passions are especially cha-
raCTerized by resting our happiness on the co-
operation of others. As long as we look to
others for any ret"Ul'n \\hatsrever, so lorig is
there a certainty of our unhappiness: but, tra.
velling through the various roads trodden by
the pursuits of man, -\\ here the passions preci.
pitately press forward, there may oe something
tasteq of the delight which the passions inspire.
tmminglcd with any of the bitterness they in"
fuse, if we but assert a certain empire over
vicissitudes of life, without letting ourselves be
hurried away by its stream; but more especially
if what constitutes self is not to de-
pend either IIpon a tyrant within ourselves; ot
• •
on subjects from without, .
Chiidren and wise men resemble eachotheji
in many striking particulars; and- the great
master-work of reason is to lead tiS back to what
natura suggests. Chlldren taste tif life, as it
were, drop by drop: they never link together
the three periods that compose its span. For
them dl!sirej indeed; conneCts togeth'er to· dar

-
,

and to morrow;,buf the' present is never
tiated the anguish of. expectation: each hOUI",
ill their little'life, -asserts its due portion of en-
joyment; every hO).lr has attached to it its own
peculiar lot, independent upon the hour that
preceded or the hour that follows it. The plea-
sures they enjoycd are n()t, however, enfeebled
by this sl,lbdjvision; they spring up anew every
, '
moment, because passion ,has not destroyed in
them .cither the of the lighter thoughts

or the shades of the impassioned sentiments: in
a word, what is not passion in itself or what
passion does not extinguish. Philosophy, it
must be owned, cannot recreate the mind with
, '.
the fresh and bloomy impressions of childhood;
nor lull us in its happy ignorance of that ca·
reer which termiOlJtesin death: ,this, notwith.
standipg, is which we ought to
,
build the science ormoral happiness: we must
sail, dO\vn the, stl:elum of life, our eyes intent
, '
upon the shore, rather,than on, the term where
the voyage is to end. Children, 'when left 'to
,are the freest of all beings; they
, '
are loosed by happiness-from every constraint.
Philosophers ought to be direCled to the same
result by the dread of unhappiness.
,
The passions assume the aspeCl: of indepen.,
dence, while, reality, ,there is 110 more gal-
, '

,

'.
\
,


C320 :J
ling and oppressive yoke: they are continually
at variance or in a confliCt with every thing
that exists: they trample down the barrier of
morality; that barrier which, i n s t e a ~ of narrow.
ing, secures tnem a due space; the consequence
of which is, that they afterwards spend their
violence against obstacles that are continualIy
starting up, till they finally deprive man of all
power over himself. From the passion for
glory, which burns for the according, united
SUffrage of the world, down to that of love,
which requires only the attachment and posses.
sion of one object, the influence of mankind
over us is the only ratio upon which we ought
to calculate the degrees of unhappiness; and,
indeed, the only true system that can enable us
to escape from pain is that which teaches us to
shape and square our life, not upon what we
may expect from others, but only upon what
we can do for ourselves. Gur mode of existence
should start from, not return to ourselves; and
without ever being the center, we should al·
ways be the impulsive power of our own des·
tiny.
The science of moral happinesss, that is to
say, of the less degree of misery, might become
as positive as that of every other science: it reo
quires only to find out what is best for the

C321 J



greatest number of men ih thegreatest"number
of situations. But the application of this science
to this or that particular character is what Tnt1st
always remain problematicaL By what chain.
in this kind of code. can we link the' minority.
or even a single individual, to the general rule"?
and even he who cannot sUbmit to it would
equally claim the attention of the philosopher.
The legislator takes mankind in the bulk; the
I110ralist takes them one by one: the legislator
must attend to the nature of things; the mora'·
list to the diversity of sensations: the leghi1lator.
in fine. ought to consider mankind in the light
of their mutual relations to each other; and the
moralist, while he considers each individual as
a complete moral whole, as a compound of plea.
sure and of pain. of passion and of reason,
should always contemplate man in his habitudes
with himself.
Bllt there remains to be made one reflecti9II
more. and that the most important of all.
namely, to consider to what extent it is possible
for impassioned souls to adopt the system I have
just laid down. .'
\
The first step towards this consideration is
to oQserve how far events, in themselves ap.
parently similar, may differ according to the
2 T .



[ 32Q J
natural disposition of those whom they affect.
It were wrong to insist so much on the internal
power of man, \\ ere it not by the nature, and
even by the degree of this power, 'that we are
to form a:w judgment of the intenseness of the
sufferings of life. One man is wafted into port
by the gentle agitation of his natural propensi-
ties, while ~ n o t h e r is carried in only by the tu.
multuous billows of the tempest. And while
e\'ery thing in the physical world may be sub.
mitted to a previous calculation, the sensations
of the soul are liable to vary according to the
nature of their objeCt and the moral organiza.
tion of the person upon whose breast they are
impressed.
The opinions which we form. respeCting l1ap.
piness are, then, only jusc when they are
founded upon as many particular notions as
there are individuals whose lot we may be de.
sirous to ascertain. In the most obscure a'nd

lOWly situations of life we maywitness conflicts
and viCl:ories which evince a strength and a

struggle beyond any thing which the page of
history has immortalized. We must attend,
in the appreciation of each individual character,
to the sufferings that arise from the contrasts
of happiness and misfortune, of glory and of
humilia tion. which the, lot of one man may
,
,
,
C323 J
exemplify. Human defeCts must be classed
among human misfortunes; the passions among
the buffets of fate: and the more certain cha-
raCters are marked with singularity, the more
trey claim the attention and should exercise
the judgment of the philosopher. Moralists
should look upon themselves as resembling that
religious order that was stationed on Mount St.
Bernard; they should devote themselves tore-
calling and setting right the travellers who go
,
astray.
Excluding every thing foreign to the situa-
tion of the sufferer, even the word pardo1Z,
which destroys that mild equality that should
subsist between the consoler and the consoled,
OUI' attention should be fixed, not on the errors
we might blame, but on the pain we should al.
leviate. It is, therefore, in the name and in
the behalf of happiness alone that I have C O I l 1 ~
batted the passions.

Viewing, as I have already observed, guilt
and the elfe61s of guilt as a scourge of nature,
which so thoroughly depraved and vilified man.
that'it is 110 longer by the precepts of philoso-
phy. but by the strong curbing hand of the
laws, that he is to be checked, I have examined
,
in my i\lvestigation of the passions. nothing but
,

-
[ S24 J
-
. .
their influence over the very person whom they

controll!. In their moral or political relations
there will occur a number of distinctions to be
made between the base and the generous, the
social and the anti-social passions: but upon a
survey merely of -the sufferings they occasion.
they will almost all be found to prove adverse
or fatal to human happiness.
To him who is over ready to complain of his
lot, who imagines he discovers in ita degree of'
misfortune hitherto unexampled, and whose sole
study is to struggle against events; to him l
say, a survey, together with me, of all
the various vicissitudes of the human passions,
and you w]l see that it is from very es-
sence, and not from any unexFeCted stroke of
fate, that your SUfferings take their rise. If
there exists in the order of things possible a si·
tuation that can shield you from them, I will
seek for it in concert with you, I will earnestly
co·operate in endeavouring to secure it to you."

But the grand argument that may be urgeq
against the passions is, that their prosperity,
perhaps, is still more fatal to happiness than
even their adversity. If you are thwarted in
your projects of tbe acquisition or the conserva·
tion of glory, your mind may fasten upon the
event that, on a sudden, has arrested your ca-
-

[ 325 ]
reer; it may even dwell and feed upon illusions,
which arise still more easily out of the past than

from the future. If the object that is dear to
your heart has been torn from you by the stern
command of those upon whose caprice or au-
thority she depends, you may for ever remain
ignorant of what your own heart might have
endured, should your love, as it languished
and went out in your soul, make you expe·
rience the bitterest of all worldly sufferings,
the withering ·and aridity of one's own sensa·
tions; there may still, however, remain a soft,
11 tender recollection, the sole enjoyment of
three-fourths of our mortal life. Nor is this all:
I am moreover bold to say; that if it be through
real faults, the regret for which incessantly
corrodes your m i n ~ , that you imagine yourself
to have missed the objeCt after which your pas-
sion hurried, still your life is less a void, Jour
imaginatiO'l1 has something left upon which to
fasten, and yoUI' soul is less dispirited and de-
pressed than if, without the intervention of
disastrous events, of unsurmountable obstacles,
or of improper and imprudent conduct, passion
alone, merely by the operation of passion, had,
at the close of a certain period of time, disco-
loured the complexion of your life, after hav-
ing fallen upon a heart that would not have
been able to endtu"e it. What then is the nu·
,


..
,
C326 J
ture of a destiny that carries with it either an
impossibility of arriving at one's object or an
inability to enjoy it if attained?
Far, however, be it from me to adopt those
pitiless maxims of frigid souls and ordinary un-
,
derstandings, that we calZ aZw::ys subdue our.
seIrcs; that we calZ always preserve a dominion over
ourselves: and who, then, that has formed an
idea, not only of passion, but even of a degree
of passion beyond that which he may not have
experienced, can take upon him to say, there
finishes moral nature? 'Newton would not have
attempted to trace the limits of thought, yet
the first pedant you meet with will endeavour to
circumscribe the empire of the soul's emotions:
he sees that they produce death; and yet he
fancies that by listening to him one might be
saved. It is not by assuring men that they all
may triumph over their passions that you reno
del' the viCtory more easy and secure; it is by
. fixing their attention 011 the cause of their un-
happiness; itis by analysing the resources which
reason and sensibility may furnish, that yol,l
supply them with surer, because with truer,
means. When the picture of pain and sufler·
ing is strikingly drawn, what lessons can be
taught that can add to the force and urgenl;Y
of your gesire of ceasing to suf(er? AI,I th\lt
'.

[ 3z7 ]
can be done for a smarting under misfor-
tune is to attempt convincing hill! that he
should. breathe a milder air in the asylum to
which you invite him: but if his feet are tied
down to the fiery soil which he' inhabits, shall
he appear to you less worthy of compassion?
I shall have accomplished my object if I have
in calming the agitated soul with the
prospect of returning reposej but more espe.
cially, if, by disavowing none of its pains, but
by acknowledging the dreadful power of the
sentiments that tyrannize over it, I have hit oil.
the secret of speaking its OWI1 language" and
consequently obtain a patient hearing. Passion
spurns and rejects all advice Uhat does not sup-
pose the painful knowledge of its own influence;
and it is prone to look down upon you as par-
taking of another nature; nor is it to be won_
dered at: to the tone, however, of my voice
it cannot be a stranger; and on this motive
alone do I build my hopes, that amidst the
multitude of books on morality that surround
tiS, even this may still prove of some little uti-,
lity.

Sorely, however, should I repent having un·
dertaken it, if, by foundering, like so many
others, againstthe terrible force of the passions,



[ 328 J
it served only to cdnfirm the belief of frigid
souls, in the facility we should experience in
surmounting the sentiments that disturb and

vitiate the comforts of life. No: do not con.
demn those unfortunate' beings who cannot
cease to be unfortunate: aid and solace them,
ye upon whom their destiny depends; but aid
and.solace them in the manner they wish to be
solaced. He who can sooth misfortune ollght
never to think of chiding or directing it: for
general ideas are insupportable to him who suf·
fers, if it be another, anel not himself, who ap-
plies them to his particular situation.
In my endeavour to compo.se this work, in
which I describe the passions as destructive of
human happiness, and in which I fancied I
pointed out resources for life, independent
of their impulsion, it is upon my own mind
also that I am desirous to impress convic.
tion. My objeCt in writing was to discover

myself anew amidst the crowd of sufferings
that surround me; to rescue my faculties,from
the Eervitude imposed on them by sentiment;
to raise myself, by a kind of abstraction, to a
point that ll1ight enable me to observe the ope-
I
ration of pain on my own mind; to examine,
in my own impressions, the various movements

of moral nature; and to generalize the little e x ~

I

-

[329 J
pericnce which I may have acquired, by reflec,
'tion.· An absolute diversion of the mind being
impossible, I tried if mere meditation on the
objeCts that enchain our attention might not
lead us to the saOle result; 'and jf, by drawing
near the phantom, we did not make it vanish
sooner than by retreating from it. I have en.
-to try if what is most poignant in
.personal pain might not have its edge some.
what blunted, by placing ourselves as a compo-
nellt part ill the of human destinies,
,\ here man is lost in the age he lives in, the age
if, lost in time, and time in what is incompre-
j;" Isiblc. This I have tried; but I am 110t sure
t/;U( I have succeeded in the fjnt experiment of
nlY doCtrine upon myself: would. it, therefore,
be becon:ing in me to assert its absolute power?
Alas! while refleCtion draws near to examine
,
the ingredients that compose the charaCter of
man, we lose ourselves in the wilderness ofmc'1
1ancholy.

,
Political institutions and civil relations may
furnish tiS with means almost certain of producing
public happiness or public calamity; but to fa-
thom the depths ofthe sOlll, holV arduous and dif.
ficultthe task! At one time superstition forbids
US to think or reel: it deranges the whole system'
of our ideas; it gives a direCtion to our 1110Ve.·
2u


,
in an inverse sense of their natural itu.,
pulsion; it makes you cling even to your mis-
fortune, if it be occasioned by some sacrificej
Or may become the ohjeCt of one. At another
time the heedless and healilong ardour of pas-
sion will not endure any thing like an obst&cle,
nor consent to the smallest privation: it
jeCls or contemns every thing that is future,
and fastening upon every instant as if it \\ere
to be the last, 'i't awakes to sense only when arM
rived at its end, or wheh engulphed in the
bottom of the abyss. flow inexplicable is the
phrenomenon of the spiritual existence of man,
which, when compared with matter, all whose
,
!lttributes are settled complete, seems still
to be only at the eve of its creation, amidst
the chaos that goes before it! '
The only sentiment that can serve IlS a guide
, .
to us all qnd that may be
• •
to is pity., With

help of what lUore disposition could
we either endure others or ourselves? 'An ob·
5erving mind, a mind of su1ficieht strength to
be its own judge, discovers in itself the source

of aU its errors. Man is enlire and complete
in each individual man: but in what \1U1ZeS has
pot frequently the thought, which precedes
tiQns, bewildered itself; or if not thought, at least
,

,
[ S31 j

ttlmething lltill'more fugitive! ThIs inw81;d
secr-et, which'cann'lt be by words•
without giving it an existence that does not
,
belo'n'g to it; this inward secret, I say, nn\llt
eonlribute to render the sen,timent 'of pity an
inexhaustible resource.:\:
,
, ...
'" Smith, in his excellent work, " The Thear} oj Mora!
Sentiments." makes pity consist in that sympathy which
places us in the situatiort of another, and us
1:0 nil the feelings which such a situation may impress. That
mast undoubtedly is one of the causes of pity'; but thcre is
this intonveniente in that definition, IVhich, ihdeed, attends
almost every other, it narrows the t'hought to whie/! the worn
to be defined gave flse: that word was clothed with a number
of accessory ideas, and of impressions wholly peculiar to each
individual that leaI'd it; and you restria its signification
hy attempting an analysis, which always incomplet:
when a sentiment is the objea to be defined; for a sC!1ti-
inent is a compound of sensa.tionfand of thoughts which you
can never cause to be undetstood, without the united .help of
judgment and emotion. Pity is frequel1t1y abstraCted' from
'all refleCtion on one's self.' If, by the help of abstraaiou.
you should ligure to yourself a,kind of pain which required,
i!l' order to be endured, an organization wholly different
your own, you still would feci pity for that painful.situation.
Ihde'ed, the most' opposite dispesitions must necessarily bl::
'impressed with pity at SUfferings which they
toul& never have experienced. In a word, the speaacle of
misfortune must move and melt I1lankind by of com.
motion" or, as it were, by a talisman, and not byexOllllina.
, ,
lion or combination.

, . ,
,
..
-
C332 J
But we are told.. that by indulging the sug.
gestions of pity, both individuals and govern.
ments may' be guilty of injustice. .It may first,
however, be observed, that individuals, in their
private capacity, are scarcely ever exposed to a
situation which commands resistance to theim.
pulse of good.nature; their relations respeEting'
others are so limited and and
the events which furnish an opportunity of
doing any good; hang upon such a small humber
of chances, that, by aCting over nicely andfasti.
diously on the' occasiqns that may be thus im·
proved, we consign and condemn our life to
dull and barren insensibility.
"
There is scarcely, I believe; any more im.
portant deliberation in which the mind can be
involved than that which lead LIS to ,hold
it a duty to cause distress, or to refuse a ser-
vice which it was in our power to perform: so
strongly must be present to 0.ur thoughts the
,\ hole chain <If moral ideas, the whole pic.
ture of the fate of man'; so certain, moreover;
must. we be to discover good in what is evil, or
evil in what is good. No : far from chiding,
in that respect, the imprudent propensities of
, ,
mankind, we should, 011 the contrary, wean
their attention from an over nice calculation of
the inc!,nveniencies that may arise from the in-
,



,
,
,( 333·J

, . ,
dulgence of generous sentiments. and d'issuade
. '
them frbm thus claiming to themselves the pri.
vilege of a judgment which God alone has 'a
right to pronounce: for to the' hands of Provi"
dence only should be entrusted that great anl;1
awful balance, in which are to be weighed tho
relative effects of happiness and of
Man, who can only catch, at fugitive moments.:,
at accidental occasions, should rarely forego ,
doing all the partial good which chance may.
enable him to diffuse.:
..
.
,
,
. It happens but too frequently that legislat')rs
themselves are led to square their conduct upon
general ideas. The grand principle, that the
interest of the minority should always yield to
that of the majority, depends entirely on the sort
of sacrifices that may be exacted from the mino-
rity; far pushing them to extremitie8.li'ould be
nothing Jess' than adopting and practising the
system of Robespierre. Nor is it the number
of individuals, but the degree of suffering that
we. ought to take into account: for could we
even suppose the possibility of nlaking an inno.
cent person suffer for a number of ages, it were
atrocious to require, it, were it even requisite
for the of a whole nation. ,But these
frightful alternatives never exist. in real life.
,

.. ..
[ 334 J
Truths of a certain class are both di6tiited h}'
reason "and suggested by the heart; and it is
almost a1ways the interest of wise policy tei listen
"to the voice of pity: between pity and the ex.
treme of cruelty there is no medium; and Ma.
chiavc1, even in the code of tyranny, ,has can.
fessed, that we should know bow to gain over tbose
whom it was not in our power to cut off.
"
Men do not long yield obedience to laws that
ate too severe; and the state that enacts, with.

out being able to enforce them, exposes itself to
all the inconveniencies both of rigour and of
weakness. Nothing IiO effeCtually fritters down
the strength of a government as a disproportion
between delinquencies and punishments. Go·
vernment is then viewed in the light ot'
an enemy, while it ought only to appear as the
head and regulating principle of the empire.
instead of blending itself in your mind ,,,ith
" .
the nature and necessity of things, you behold
it only as an obstacle which you must struggle
3gainst and surmount. The agitating turbu·
lence of some, and the hope, however" mad!
which they conceive of being able to overturn
what oppresses them, shake the confidencel"ven
of those \\'ho are most zealous in support of the
.
"
C335 J
.. In flne. in whatever point of view we contem'
plate the "sentiment of pity. it will be found
wonderfully fertile in the production of benefi.
cial consequences both to individuals and to
nations: nor shall we feel reluCtant to persuade
ourselves that it is the pnly primitive idea that
is implanted in the nature of man; for it is the
only one that is necessary to the culture of
every virtu'e and to the enjoyment of every ,
blessing.
Can there be a finer final cause in the· moral

order of the world. than the prodigious inliu. .
ence pity exercises over every heart? It
seems as if our very physical'organization was
• •
intended to receive its soft impression. A
voice that begins to faulter. a countenance that
is' suddenly cnanged, operate directly upon the
soul like our sensa,tions: does not in-
I I .
tervene between them; nor is there any thing
intelleCtual in the impression; but it is a dis-
, .
position of the soul of man that has something
in it still more sublime, in as mllch as it
liarly devotes itself to the proteCtion of
ness. While every thing else seems to incline
in favour of strength, this sentiment alone reo
the balance by calling up the aid of
generosity.. This sentiment is mOI'e deeplyaf-
feeled at. the sight of a defenceless objeel,
I

,
- ,

[ 335 J
the appearance of desolate distress, at theshtick

of terror and of pain: it alone protects the van.
, .
quished after victory; it alone redresses the ill
eHeCts of that base propensity in mankind to
deliver up their attachments, their faculties,
their very reason itself, to I the capricious deci.
sian of success. Indeed, this sympathy for
d i ~ t r e s s is an affeCtion so powerful; it so :strongly
unites and compresses the whole force of our
physical and moral impressions, that an at.

tempt to resist its influence argues a degree of
depravity, from which we ought to turn with
horror and execration.
Thme beings only have no claim to the reci·
procal associatioq ot miseryand indulgence,who,
by ex:inguishing within themselves the impulse
cf pity, obliterate from their heart the seal of
huniall nature. The remorse we feel for having
. "iolatcd any principle whatever of morality is,
like n;orality itself, the work and effeCt of rca·
soning; but the remorse tha't stings lIsfor have
ing stifled the voice ofpity, pursues and pene·
cutes us like an inborn sentiment: it is a dan·
gel' that threatens self; it is a terror of which we
ourselves are the object. So thoroughly are we
identified with a being who suffers, that those
,
. who can prevail upon themselves to destroy

that ilientity, are very frequently hardened ini'C
-

C337 J

an obduracy towards themselves: which; in
many respeCl:s, contributes to deprive them of
, '
every thing which they might other\vise exp'eCt
ft:om the pity or' others. Such, however, let
me' conjure, if yet it be not too late, that they
endeavour to save some miserable wretch; that
, '
they relent and pal-don an enemy whom they
have conquered: that thus, by returning within
the' pale of humanity, they may still again be
taken under its sacred proteCl:ion. '
I '
, It is during the crisis of a revolution that our
ears are incessantly compelled to hear that pity,
is a puerile sentiment; that it impedes every
necessary action, and obstruCts the general in·
tetest; and that it ought consequently to be
banished, together with those effeminate affec-
tions which let down the dignity of statesmell
unnetve the vigour ,of party leaders. The
contrary,' however, is the truth: it is amidst
. . ' . . ,
the aisorderof a revolution that pity, which
J
under every other ci'rcumstance, is an involu'n.
taryemotion, ought to become therulea:nd guide
ofour conduct. Thenevery restraining tie is dis-
solved: succeeds, and becomes
, ,
for every one'thechief, the only end; but this end
being' 'supPosed to contain both true virtue and
the only general happiness·,assum.es for a time
the place of every other kind of lawj except
2,;.
,
,
,
C338 J
at a time when -passion intermingles with rea-
son, and then there is only one sens<\tion, that
is, something which partakes a little of the na.
ture of passion itself, that can possibly be Ope
posed to it with success. When justice is dis-
regarded, pity may be of no avail: but a revo·
lution, whatever may be its object, suspends
-
the social state; and we must return to the
-
source of aU laws at a moment when every
thing that is called legal power is no longer but
a vague unideal sound. Party leaders lIJay
feel sufficient self-confidence to enable them to
act on all occasions conformably to the striCtest
justice: but there is nothing can prove more
fatal to them than the instigations of followers
who are deaf to pity, and who are thereby in-
capable of all enthusiastic feeling for others.
Both these sentiments are closely allied, though
by different to 'the faculty of
llation. Rage and revenge are doubtless closely
conneCted with enthusiasm: but those turbu-
lent movements, which prompt us to be.cruel
c
for a r:loment, bear no analogy whatever with
what we have lately witnessed;-:-a continued,
:md. consequently a cold-blooded system of
itifling all pity. But when- once this horrid
iystem takes hold of the minds. of soldiers, they
of their generals as they do of their
enemies; they calmly conduct to the

,
[ 319 J
.
those whom but the evenirig,'before they l l l ~ t
pas$ipnately esteemed; they are wholly at the
mercy of a kind of reasoning power, which '
consequently depends on a certain arrangement
of words, and rictsin their heads like a principlli .
and its consequences. The multitude can never
be governed but through the medium of their
sensations: woe, therefore, be to· the leaders,
,
who,.. by stifling- in' their partizans every thing
that. is human" every thing that is stirred up
~ y the imagination 01' sentiment, convert them
into z:easoning murderers; who march to the
perpetration of, crimes under the conduct. of
me.taphysics, and· will immolate them to the
D,rst arrangement of syllables which in their
mind:may appear conviction. .
, ..
r, .•
• • ., .
- Cromwell restrained the people by the terrors'
of superstition; the Romans were tied down ·by
the sanctity of an oath; the Greeks were won'
and led away by an enthusiastic admiration of
their great men. If that kind of national s e n ~
timent, which in France made generosity a
point of honour, and c0l11passion for t!le con-
quered a charaCteristic trait; if that kind of na.
tional sentiment do not resume something of.
its former mild dominion, never shall t h ~ go:
vernment acquire a settled and unresisted 'em.
pire over a nation that has nothing of a moral
. -
,
C540 J
instinCt by which it may 'beutiited and
pelled: for what is there which m'ore than rea-
soning tends to divide and disunite?
• •
In fine, it is pity also which alone can enable
us to put an end to intestine war. Inexhaustible
are the resources of desperation: nor can the
most dextrous negociations, or the most blood:.
stained viet aries, have any other. effect; tlian .to
envenom animosities and exasperate rev.enge.
, .
Nothing but a generous burst. of theheartj
proceeding from enthusiasm and froll1:pity, can
stop the progress of intestine broils, and:
sound the word country with equal force 'iri,lhe
ear of all the parties by which it is nolV so rni.
serably torn. This commotion of the,soul: pro.
duces more real effeels in one day than all the.
writings and combinations which political.,jnge.
Iluity can devise; and man is only rebelling
against his nat\lre when he endeavours to
trust to mind alone a influence
over the human· destiny. .
..

But to you, Frenchmenl must I now'appeal;
to j'ou, invincible \\ arriors; to you, their reo
nowned leaders; you, whose prudence has di·
reeled, and whOse courage has inspired them;
to the united efforts of you all is France in",
I:!ebted for the glory of her viCtories; for the
\
[ 341 J
splendour of. her triun'phs: but to you also does.
it belong to proclaim the will and complete the
,
work of generosity: unless yOll cultivate and
pra,ctise. that virtue, where are the laurels that
noW remain to ,be. gathered? . Your enemies
are they no longer oppose
ance; they can no· longer minister to your
glory by their defeats: would you still continue
to astonish tis? Pardon, for,you are
rors. Terror or enthosiasm. has 'prostrated a.t
your feet more than one half of the globe: but

what have you yet done for the relief of misery?
is man, if .he has not f"xerted himself to

comfort his fellow·men·; if. he .has not com,.
• •
batted the power of evil, and driven it fi'om the
earth?' The generality of governiJlents are
,
vindictive, because they are under the infl uence
of fear, and because they do not dare to !?e
clement: but you, who }lave nothing to dread;
you, who may call philosophy and viaory your
own; iUs your's to assuage every real misery.
every misery that IS" trul y worthy of compas.
sian. The pleadings of are always fa.
vourably heard; the voice of distress should
ever prevail over the conqllerors ofthe world:
and. indeed, what is looked for from genius,
from success, from Ii berty, from republics?
I say, is looked foJ' but a diminution of
our sufferings and an enlargement of our hopes?


I t 342 J
lind you, who are to return to your doil1estic
fire-sides, and shrink back into your private
capacities, what will you" be. unless you reo
solve to shew yourselves generolis? what, but
warriors in the midst of peace, genhlses only
in t1-}e art of war, at a time' when every thought
will be turned towards internal prosperityiand
when of past dangers there will scarcely remain

the shadow? Let your virtue make -you look
to futurity; let gratitude be bound down to
you by permanent benefits. There is no 'proud
qpitol, no triumphal pomp, that can add to the
lustre of your name: yeu have reached the
pinnacle of military glory; and" generosity a)one
still soars above your heads. Happy is thesi-
tuation of an all·controuling· power, when all
obstacles cease to oppose it from without';" when
its \\ hole strength is concentred within :itself j
when benevolence may be indulged and good
be done without the instigation of any motive
but virtue, or without even, the suspicion that
your benevolence can flow from any" other
source.*

.. In a work puhlished about two years ago, and ho.
rtoured by a suffrage than which none can be more flattering
to pride (for it was quoted by Mr. Fox while pleading the
cause of peace in the British Parliament) I have observed,
" tbat ifptau be 110t made thi; )'ear 'With France, it iJ difjiCl/[t

. [ 343 J
,

I migl,lt have treated of generosity, of pity,
nnd of the greater number of the topics touched
upon in this work, in theil- simple relation to
morality, which enforces them as a law; but I
think that true morality 50 perfectly accords
.and coincides with the general interest, that it
always seems to me as if the idea of a duty was
devised in. to abridge exposition of
the principles of conduct which might have
been lIQfolded to man from a survey of his per.
sonal advantages; and as in the early years or
life he is forbid to do what is evil, in the child-
hood of nature' he is still commanded
what it might always be possible to impress on
bim by conviCtion. Happy should I deem my-




10 say iJ(the heart of 'What empire tbty may ,.tjta it tltxt .Jtdr.
Never, I believe, was there a prediaion more thoroughly
verified.f. With nearly the same degree of certainty one
,
might conjeCture what would be the result of the stupendoui
viClories of the French, were they to make all ill use of
them, and to pursue, while viClorious, a revolutionary sys-
rem. But 'so great is the fiood of light that has been dif-
fused through France; the republican form of government,
from its very nature, is, after a time, 50 completely
liubmitted to the real opinion of the public, that the first
etrcCl:s of such a system must expose its principle, and pre-
vent that country from persisting in the work of ruin with
that blind pertinacity which, during the progress of this
disastrous war, has marked the conduCt of several monarchi-
cal cabinets.




[ 344 J
self if I have succeeded in opening the eyes of
self-interest! happy also should I feel if I have
abated any thing of its aCtivityJ by presenting
mankind with an exact analysis of what is va.
luable in life; an analysis which may shew that
all the yarious lots of men differ from each other
more by the characters which they affect than
by the situations they induce; that the pleasures
which \\e may feel are aU submitted to certain
chances, \\ hich, after a time, reduce every
thing to the SJme level; and that the happiness
wh:ch is imagined to be found in external ob·
jects is only a phantom which the imagination
crea es, and which it then pursues and endea·
vours to arrive at without, while its only real
existence is within ourselves.
F I ~ I S .
r _

THE

--

AUTHOR's PREFACE.

I

MAY, perhaps, seem to betray the impatience of authorship, by pnblishing the first part of a WOrli while the second still . remains in an unfinished state: but this impatience will, I trust, be excused, when it .appears that; notwithstanding the connection of the parts with one another, each may be regarded as a separate worl,. This impatience may lil,ewise as probably arise from reflecting, that, condemned to celebrity without the means of being properly Imown, I feel anxious that my writings should lead to the knowledge of my disposition: for, incessantly exposed to the shafts of calumny, and too conscious of my own unimportance to attempt speaking of

"

Cvi J
myself, I unreluCtantly indulge the hope, that by gi·ing to the world this Essay, the fruit of my meditations, I may afford -.. Some idea of the habits of my life,. and the nature of my character.
L.WS.1NNE, Ju!y
I,

1196.

n. . 1 r' r. ) " _' I.,-U ~ ",~ ~_'.L

'1

,,

, '

SXETCH OF THE LIFE
o.
.

MADAME DESTAEL. :
s

'f.

IT has been obser~ed that the life of a man of
letters furnishes few incidents that can em ploy

the pcn of the biographer or gratify the curio. sity of the public. The celebrity of an author's works, indeed, throws a lustre upon the most obscure scenes of his life, and dyes an interest to the most trivial occurrences. Every little anecdote derives an importance from the name with which it is connected, and every action is embellished by an association with performances which every one, reads and admires. The life of a female author, in general, must still be more barren of variety and of incident. The amusements, the intrigues, the

[ viii ] occupations of a woman of fashion, do not greatly ilJt~rest those who are beyond her circle. Her \\ It or her manners may delight and ani~ mate the scenes ill which she moves, but they cannot be consigned '\ith equal effect to the page of the biographer. When we arc told that the woman of rank, whose writings we per. use with pleasure, lived in the first orders of fashion, that she was courted and admired by the most distinguished votaries of literature, we can expE'ct little farther gratification. It is in her writings still that we cultivate an ac· quaintance with her. As a woman of fashion, she differs but little from the crowd around herj \, hile the sprightliness of her conversation, and· the elegance of her wit, in a literary circle, form features of a charaCler which it is difficult to ~eize and to embody in the detail of her life. Madame de Stael possesses hereditary claims to distinCliop. Independently of her own ceo lebrity, she derives a consequence from the parents to whom she owes her birth. She ii tbe only child of the celebrated M. Neckar,

[ i~

J

whose reputation as a financier and politiCian has been equally extolled and depreciated. . , . The important offices which he filled, :-ind the principal part which he performed in the French monal'chy ut the beginning of the revolution, have rendered him the object, of tl11iversal notice; and his condua the subject of much controversy. Many impute to him the blame of having encouraged the revolution. ary spirit till it became too powerful to be reo pressed. At the same time, however calamitous may have bem the consequences of that revolution, the intentioh of M. Neckar cannot fairly be questioned, nor his fidelity to the master whom he served justly arraigned.
.

Her mother was Mademoiselle Curchod, a lady distinguished by the highest accomplishments of mind and person. S:le was the first love of the celebrated MI'. Gibbon, and he once entertained the design of offering her his hand. Eefore he could put his intention in execution, Mademoiselle Curchod became the wife of M. Neckllf, then a Banker at Paris. While she

[ x

J

lived, she was the pride and ornament of the rank in which she moved. The house of Neckar was the resort of literary eminence• • :Madame Neckar \\ rote a variety of pieces, which did the highest honour to her talents. Since her death, M. Neckar has published three vo· lumes of her Thoughts, Maxims, Correspolldmce, &c. The only daughter of parents whose wealth

',,:a::. immense, whose literary qualifications were

so eminent, it is natural to suppose that the education of Madame de Stael would be superintended in such a manner as to combine the • highest accomplishments with the firstrank:md fortune. At a very early period of life she displnyed l:ncommon powers. No pains were spared to cultivate her mind. The example and the attention of her mother equally served to the improvement of her talents, and she soon gained a superiority not merely in superficial accomplishments, but in solid acquirements, which fall to the lot of but very few of her sex.

illost ~~ric:h liness and vivacity. Her warm and sprightly . • This union. ht:r marriage was not attelldcd ''lith much domestic felicity. . however.. anti tor SOUle years Madame Stae! and her husband have not lived' to . and perhaps an excess of vivacity. To whatever C. at his seat at Copet. ten~ per soon displayed the ut. .. Gibbon mentions his having seen the daughter of his old mistress. . Republic. he married his daughter to the Baron de Stael.' on the best terms. . At ail early age. • • •• • .Cxi J .. a . was' not th-ought be very happy. and wished to unite his daughter toa man of the same religious persuasion. and at present he fills the office of Ambassador of his Court to the French . near L:1t~5anne. She was then about· eigh£een~ and wit~' animatio'n.• M. were H~i' chiefcharat1eristics. accordingly. visits to Nc (kal'. Neckar was a protestant. Her natural .:luses it IlJight be owing. Swedbh nobleman of rank and consequellce: The Baroll de Stael was long the Minister of Sweden ill Paris. . III one of his . '. . Mr.

• On the commencement of the Frencll - ~·e\'o. \\as soon crushed by the overbearing and extravagant character of the Jacobins. Several of its most aCtive leaders perished. those who were friends to a limited and constitutional monarchy. nlan)' of them were exiled. Burke informs us in his' Letters on a Regicide Peace. and her house was frequented by many of the first literary characters in France. as Mr. She was not. a partizan of the violent demo<. ho\\ever.[ xii J temper and French education niight not well agree with the more sober habits of a Swedil:lh nobleman. Barnaud Vergniaud. • These were the two Lameths. however. La This party. At her house. and Madame Stael .ratical faCtion: she was attached to what has been termed the Constitutionalists. of an ardent temper. was favoll~able to its cause•. Madame Stael. &c. She had already begun to be distinguished for talents and wit. Iution.' the chiefs of the Feuillalls used to meet and concert their • measures. Favette.

where . • ' The l~ew constitution was SOOIl assailed by opposite factions. Madame Stael was attached to the existing administJ:a. She lived rather retired in the country. and many of the persons who came into power . of distinction. ~ . persons though occasionally visited by many' . friends. She . ' . When the constitution of 1195 . .1der the new government were her . and the Directory were not supposed to observe very scrupulously the legal limits of their prerogatives. . she "..as its decided supporter. Parties became incensed against each other. tion. She accordingly became the object of abuse from the most violent of the other side. . where she resided for S(}l11e time. was established.[ xiii ] herself found it necessary to quit France. . came to England.ul. After the fall of the sanguinary Robespierre. 0h • b .she again became the centre of attraction to a political party. . Madame Stae! returned to Paris. . . nlany of whom were accused of a del'ign to .

may be as justly ascribed to the attraction of her company and conversa. but she disclaimed all concern in the traniactiolls imputed to her. Madame de Stael was the object of incessant scurrility and abuse. in condemning them to transportation without even the for. Previous to fhe violent measures which the '" Directory put in execution against so many representatives of the people. mality of a trial.· Among these were . A number of lampoons and epigrams were written against her. 1Iadame Stael disclaims. ance.This. . tion. Certain it is. and this influence with the people in PO\\ er. This import. howe\·er. however. Many measures obnoxious to the party in opposition were imputed to her counsels. Great influence with the ne\v rulers was ascribed to Madame Stael. restore royalty.[ xiv J . that some of the present Directors and Ministers were frequently of her parties. as to any influence or intrigue. She v:zs accused of being the main spring of many schemes \~·hich the friends of the Directory • thought it necessary to adopt.

are totally without foundation. Madame de Stue! was the enemy of those factions which then. however. endea. she aCtually wish. it appears that ~he deeply felt and deplored the calamities which the revolu. tion Lad produced. Puis un plan quOAugereau doit suivre. Puis un aehat. Puis un gros club. Puis a Barras son compliment. argent eomptallt. These squibs. again to tempt the same evils• • From a horror of innovation. Deux mois en repos voulant vivre. Puis un eommis nomme COllstant. and a thousand other witticisms which were launched against her. .c xv ) the following whimsicallines. From many passages of the fol. Apres avoir fait un gros livre. the first of which. Puis un ministre au teint de euivre. voured to obtain the executive power into their own hands. puis un amant. She was convinced that France had suffered too much from the rage of faction. La Baronne a fait-un enfant. under various denominations. lo\dng work. alludes to the work upon the passions: Les AccollchemCIIs de la Barolllie de Stat!.

and rather to adhere to what existed. her acquaintailce with mankind. no false and vitious refinement of stile. her general knowledge. so far from deriving influence from that event. or the malignancy of scandal. and philosophical acuteness. She affeCts no gaudiness of diCtion. not dispute the extent of her talents. she has since lived in the neighbourhood of P<:ris in privacy and retirement. her ingenuity. are generally confessed. The charaCtel' of Madame de Stael's works differs greatly from that by which the writings of many of her sex are distinguished. She analyses with philoso• • . than to seek any change whatever. may have directed against ~\'radame de StaeI. discrimination. which she WJS accused of having counselled.Cxvi J ed to support the newly establi~hed government. In faCt. even her enemies do Her literary attainments. the faults into which the writings of the fair in the present age are apt to rtlll. • Whatever ~ttacks the rage of faction. and the vigour of her mind. no flimsy decoration.

from two great and generalizing abo straction of ideas. howevel'. The charaCter of Rousseau has in every country of Europe been canvassed with . becomes stitt~ and by are· finement of analysis which borders upon obscurity. which. who peruse her writings with care. This performance possesses the highest reputation in I·'ranee. her stile displays a masculine vigour. and wonderful display of critical acuteness. Madame de Stael some time before published an Essay on the CharaCTer and Writings of the celebrated Philosopher of Geneva. but the singular temperament of his extravagant mind. rigour.[ xvii J phical accuracy. Rousseau. the tnle merit and beauty - . Besides the work upon the Passions. Those. and athorough acquaintance with the human heart. it is rather by a philosophical language. It is distinguished by uncommon ingenuity of remark. will find that they contajn much information. a singular discernment of charaCter. If her composition be obscured by any blemish.

loped and explained than in the Essay of Ma· dame de Stae!. The reasoning by which this doctrine is sup. bring themselves to that state of philosophical apathy when they can think without enthu.Cxviii J of his writings were never more clearly deve. It has lhewise extended its fame into Germany. and to disturb the peace of nations. The following work upon the Passions ob· tained great success in France. and the origin of . the movements of the heart are la~d open with a masterly hand. She demonstrates that mankind ought to endeavour to avoid as much as pos. passion under the dominion of reason is no passion at all. sible the influence of the passions. ported will be found to possess uncommon ingenuity. She considers the very essence of passion to consist in its violence. that is. siasm. Its great aim is to ~how that the passions tend to em bitter the happiness of individuals. and act without impulse.

" Madame de Stael i6 now about thirty. the wife of the Swedish Ambassador at Paris.e~­ gagihg. and formed by the Graces to influence their COllQuct. has naturally been a very close spectatrix of the revolutionary phxnomena of that city. to counsel mankind. TRANSLATOR. more than upon the first. . Her figure is not'remarka:ble for beauty'or elegance. she has often H .Exix J our feelings and sentimentscareflllly traced. The following account of this work is given in the Appendix to the MONTHLY REVIEW: The daugMer of Neckar. perhaps. Upon a second perusal. however.· a :H~IiTfess and viv~city in her countenance extrem'ely. There is. from her talents. She is not tall. '. Worthy. and her manners and conversation ate highly attractive. her book will' please.

' " valuable reflections ~ .p)?~~rvations._- • . ." '1 1'. but never aspiring to. sensible. yet it is sufficiently enriched with ncw. smooth propriety. and has incurred abuse from the vulgar insolence of Louvet.' rp . .[ xx J been suspected of taking a direct part in the affairs of France. a . .">..o'f\\ -~\. and other pe· riodical writers.\. " The whole of the work is written with . " . eloquence. and . . often .bordering 011 elegance. .

and their cold remains. you are necessarily hurried on by one universal movement-when the night of the grave fails to secure repose---when the very drad are judged anew. the ef.INDIPlDUALS AND OF NATIONS. when either the 110pe or the want of happiness has prompted the human race to rise. it is in an age like the JI ~ AT . which popular favour had inurned. what period is it that I have attempted ·to discourse of the H Happiness of Indi· . if you but live.• . and when its thunder strikes alike the bosom of the lowly valley and the front of the proudest hills? Is it at a time when. . INFLUENCE OF THE PASSIONS ~ • UPON THE HAPPINESS OF .... . or expelled from. are alternately ad· mitted into. fects of which no condition has escaped.viduals and of Nations?" Is it amidst the crisis of a wide desolating Revolution. that temple where faCtions imagined they bestowed immortality? Yes. it is at this very time. . .

under whatever colours you deprCt them. \. all the rocks that rise between. not even now can reason attempt to approach the examination of that unaccountable <era. argues an attempt to reduce them to the class of existing ideas. if it had attempted to conceive the plan. on the road that leads to it. the contemporaries and the fellow citizens of the hapless victims sacrificed on those days of blood. if during the reign of Terror under which France trembled. could we have tbm retained the power to generalize our ideas. on the limits th:lt confine it. or ponder on the result of this monstrous mixture of all human atrocities. to dwell unconcernedly on mere abstraCt notions. however. And.[ 2 ] • present that one is powerfully led seriously to refleCt on the nature of individual and political felicity. of ideas which we are already in possession of \\ords to describe· At the sight of this hideous piCturt: all the emotions of the soul are roused anew: \\e freeze. but we. be my lot. if during the course of those two frightful years. e burn. to withdraw from the home of heart. my mind had been capable of such a task !-shame be my lot. also be induced to investigate the causes that influenced the blaGk proceedings of t1)ose two eventful years. The coming generation will. to appreciate those events. But shame. we are anxious for the combat j . and bar us from its enjoyment. perhaps. in order to analize its emotions? No. indeed.

through the medium of France. with "'ery po~_ sible sens'ltion of srief. but as those very crime5 supply an argument to their system. yet. thought cannot yet repose on any of those recollections. I hope that. the rest of the civilized world-I hope. notwithstanding the violence of party-spirit by which France is torn. the sensations they impress absorb every other faculty. petrated in its name. those who most vehemently execrate the crimes that have been per. first principles on which is bottomed the French Republican Constitution. I say. and if these reflections lead me to an admission oUhe . * and that a favourable hope of the' future may not be irreconcileable with ajust execration of the past. and. tion. contem pt for certain men. while I avail myself of the other prominent events of the French Revolu. it may be possible to conceive that an enthusiastic attachment to certain notions does not exclude a sovereign. we are . after the lapse of some interval. the mind • In my opinion. and though the\vounds which the heart has received must still contin ue to bleed. that I shall endeavour to combine a few impartial ob· servations on the nature of governments. as they do those of the friends of freedom. Their adversaries may doubtless experience the same horror at those abominations. the real partizJIls of republican liberty ar. It is therefore by see cluding from my mind every retrospect of that prodigious rera.• resolved to die: but as for thinking. and of the history of every nation. they do not overwhelm their minds.

to describe the influence of the passions of man upon his own personal happiness. may again raise itself to general contemplations. and not barely with relation to the calamities which have attended their di~cussion.YC ought merely to view them in their own nature. renee for crimes. I n the present consideration of these important questions on which is to depend the political destiny of man. our reason is curious to discuss the sentiments we OU1'seh'es have experienced. \\ e should be suspe6ted of indiffe. It is \\ith a similar indepcn. in my opinion~ ought it to be a more arduous task to discourse . we ought finally to evince sufficient elevation of soul to spurn the apprehension. lest. than in the investigation of moral questions: undoubtedly the passions exert as powerful an influence as governments on the condition of human life. in the catll silence of retirement. (le:1Cc of mind that I have essayed. . or whether the effe6ts of the Revolution be not wholly and absolutely distinct from the consequences of the Constitution . we ought at least to examine whether these calamities be essentially conneCted with the institutions which France is desirous of adopting. Neither do I perceive why it should be more difficult to be impartial in the discussion of political. while we are ex ploring the foundation of principles. nor.. and nevertheless.in the first part of this work.

and proved decisive of your fate. or if they introduce any change in it. that impulsive force" which domineers over the will of man. their hap' • . arises the principal obstacle to individual and political happiness.[ S J philosophicalIy of the advantages or disadvantages of Republics and of Monarchies. and the destiny of man would exaCtly result from a just equilibrium between his desires and his means of gratifying them. and to stecr it clear of all the impressions of the . From the passions. It is for my readers to judge how far 1 have succeeded. which is generally the one pointed out to them by chance. I shall therefore consider morals and politics only in as much as they experience difficulties from the opera. Without the interference of the passions. they want not our assistance. tion of the passions. In either part of this work. CharaCters uninfluenced by the passions naturally place themselves ill the situation that best befits them. than to institute an exaCt analysis of Ambition. governments would be a machine fully as simple as the different levers whose power is proportioned to the weight they are to raise. Let us not disturb their happy calm. I have been equally studious to be guided solely by my reason. of Love. moment. it is only that which \\as easily and immediately within their reach. or of any other passion that may have biassed your conduct.

But affiictions of this nature are prevented or removed not by sensible or moral thoughts. &c. notonous kind of existence. are awakened in their souls. by means of certain traits of resemblance.C6 pine~s J is as varied in appearance as the dire ferent lots which their destiny has drawn. the certainty of never being either agitated. or overruled by any emotion beyond the compass of their resistance. on the contrary. which may destroy their fortunes. Persons of the other cast of charaCler live. viz. they alone can derive COil solation from • the reflections whic:.z£d characters being. but the basis of that happiness is invariably the :>ame. it is your impassioned charaClers only who. and as the natural bent of their inclina. one by . they ~tand peculiarly in need of a system whose object it "is to avoid pain. become the subject of the same general considerations. as it were. but by positive computations. in a mo. impair their health. The lives of these impassible beings are doubtless as much exposed as those of other men to the operation of material accidents. tions exposes them to the most cruel calami. \\ ithout either analogy or variety. and present as many var:ring shades as there are individuals: it is im" • . though each of them pursue a difierent end. ties. maYJ in their <lggregate. In a word. . wholly dependant on what passes within them. The happiness of impassiv. one.

titude of various combinations. it has been observed that every ten years nearly the same number of divorces took . in a treatise on indio vid ual happiness. and preserve a fixed proportion.· . which yield a res I' It nearly similar: and it ought to be observed. If. Thus events.place. whenever the chances are IlIultiplied. which link with amul. The science of morals. and there are· several towns in Italy where an exact calculation is made of the num· bel' of murders that are regularly committed every year. when our observations on them are the J'Csult of a great Humber of chances. may be the subject of a positive calculation. 1 touch only on impassioned charaCters. have their periodical return. to discover in them any real charaCteristic colour. In the Canton of Beme. pendent on chance.possible. for example. but the organization of a con~titution is invariably grollnded 0/1 . that circumstances the most de. An individual may be considered as exempt from pas. it is still more natural to analize governments in relation to the play they give to the influence of the passions. when applied to a particular individual.ions. however. of a certain number of charaCters of every cast. Hence we may be led to believe that political science may one day acquire the force of geometrical evidence. but a coIleClive body of men is composed . may be wholly er~ roneOll5 with regard to him.

But before I proceed further. celebrity without detraction.union of all the contraries. and it is pretty· evident that all the despotic social combinations would prove equally suitable to those listless and inert dispositions that are satisfied to remain in the situation which chance has allotted them. whose sale rule of conduCt would be the dictates of their reason. That the greate~t difficulty which obstruCt~ the march of governments. Happiness. as the greater number ill every thing affords results that are always similar and always foreseen. and dims the recollection of whatever we may have lost. of every talent. then. is the re. such as we aspire after. is a truth that needs no illustration. the pure perfec~on of every condition. love without inconstancy. in a word.data that are fixed. fore. if you could but discover to what degree the passions may be incited or repressed} without endangering the public happiness. arises from the passions. and that the most purely abstract· democratical theory might be reduced to practice among wise men. aCtivity without solicitude. there. it is hope without fear. You might. it may perhaps be expeCted that I attempt a definition of happiness. the very reverse of moral nature. of • . solve whatever is problematical in constitutions. For individuals. that glow of imaginati0l1 that embellishes to the eye of fancy whatever we possess.

'because a nation exhibits the c11araCter of a man.tudy of the surest means that can shi~ld us from the greater ills of life. the other views him . In:l word. Happiness. 'can only be accGmplished by a patient !'. two works may be blended into one-The first considers man in his relations to himself. To tJieinvestigation of these means . what is great is discoverable in \.1pon a nation as an indi· vidual is aaed on by the force of his own reason. .tempered combination of . of the pride of military glory abroad with submissive obedience to the laws at hon~e. The happiness of nations mllst likewise result from the well.. together with c ~ . and the force of a government acts .l. of the rivalry of talents with the inaEtivityof factions.republicall liberty with monarchical quiet. such as the mind of man endeavours to conceive. while the social art tends to perpetuate the actions of wisdom.[ 9 ] every pleasure. unmix~d and unadulterated with the ills that usually attend them.tn the social relations of all the individuals to each other. And in this attempt. hat is little. The wish of the philosopher is to give permanency to the transient" ill of reftdtion. is an o~jeEt beyond the reach of human efforts. and happiness that is attainable. the present treatise is devoted. Nor are the principal ideas of these two works without some analoe:y .

however. that is.[ 10 ] the same exactness of proportions. There is a wide difference. political liberty must be calculated on the positive and indestructible existence of a certain num bel' of impassioned dispositions. the second analizes the relation between certain affeCtions of the soul to .the operation of passion or of reason. . The whole of the universe is reflected in each of its parts. the first of which treats successively of the infl uence of each particular passion on the happiness of man. between the system of Individual Happiness and that of the Happiness of Nations: in the former. the greater is the admiration it • • lilsplres. of those that are independent of chance. but more especially of the will of other men. every Illan having it in his power to make the experiment on himself: but in the latter. The first volume is divided into three sections. and the more. to the subjeClion of all the pas. sions.-the second will embrace the constitutional lot of nations. the third exhibits a piCtlll'e of the resources which man finds within himself. we may aspire to the most perfeCt moral independence. it appears the result of one grand idea. which constitute a part of the people who are to be governed. The first part of this work shall be solely consecrated to reflections on the individual destiny of man .

but where there is 110 powerful iilcentive to kindle the passions. in II hich may be combined a part of the advantages that are the desiderata of other Gov~rnl1Jents. .C II J In the second part of this work. In the second section. it is my intention to examine ancient and modern Governments. and no great field in which they may expatiate.e duration of Governments \\here all the passions have been incited: In the third seCtion. I will close this work with some refleCtions on the nature of Representative Constitutions. where democratical liberty may indeed exist. 1 will investigate the causes that have abridged the duration and o!J~traCted the happiness of those Governments in which all the passions have been reo pressed. and the fall of Governments. In fine. . In the first seCtion of the second part. I will treat of the reasons which dissllade the generality of mankind from confining themselves within the compass of little states. I will enquire into the causes that have been unfriendly to the happiness. from the greater or less play \\ hich they have given to that curiosity of aCtion which exists in all societies. with respeCt to the influence which they leave to the passions that are natural to men in a state of political union. and particularly to tl. duration. and to trace the causes of the rise.

which the organization of little States ~re rap3hle of.f'es • • • 1 1 4~' L.an a succinct and cursory idea of it. or the pa:nful emotions that agitate my hear!:. nor can I now attempt to give any more t). that the more we laoo\ircd to tranquilize the impetuous sentime. • I h:1V(' as yet scarcely entered on the second pQ!itie<d part. It is the dominion 0: the pas~. could succeed in subjugating his passions.hances of this mortal . of Ollr independence.rk.:t. cut short the thread of my existence. the system of Governments would be so simplified.. p::blic liberty. that we could then adopt. that we may secure oreer. as praCticable.~\"in.[ 12 ] These two works are necessarily conneCted: for if man. tk..~ns th:!t continually compels us to ~Jcrifce. tl~e Jess would be the necessity (!fn~r. and all the means that tend to rbtorc to reason its due ascendancy. that COmple~e independence. . I perceive that a. and instit!ltir. it wmild nC\TrtheLss be truE'. should the changes and r..o an the necessary researches that must But contribute to form its ground-wo. and dillIi])i~h the number of stlcrifice£ we must make of • O 'l~ 'leel. As my mind dwells on it. considcT.G. . But allowing the imp"lfricabjlity of this metaphysical theory.t disturb the internal quiet of the h.. far cclI::cting the various information. in his individual capacity.de lengt') of time will be necessary . life.I1~<:n heart..

) myself. like that of private education on individuals. in the analysis of ancient and modern Governments. in his sublime work on the Causes qftbe Greatness alld ofibe Fall qf the Romans. That organization of the public power. \\ hat solely belongs to the nature of their respeBive constitutions. renders this or that religious worship more or • " . MONTESQUIEU. in the history of nations. the chances of hazard may operate with regard to the 'character of one individual. to trace out and to discover. and perhaps it may be found that every event is derived from the same wurcc. but \\hich cannot convey any idea of th~ whole. has promiscuously treated of the various causes that infl uenced the fate of that empire. The following is an imperfect view of it. operation or Governments on Nations is not uncertain. which stimulates or represses ambition. Our first care should be. For. while. with regard to a collective body of men. Nations are brought up by their Governments as children are by parental authority: but the.[ 13 J I should be happy that some other pen would execute the plan which I have traced out t. as I have already observed. and at the ~ame time select from the history of other nations those events which immediately flowed from their constitutions. the results are always the same. To his book we must -resort for information.

In a word. their influence must next be proved by the examina· tion of characteristic traits. or a given extent of territory either dangerous or convenient. in two years of civil war. has unifcrmly been perfectly similar.[ 14 ] less necessary. c:nd while I endeavour to account fer their apparent difference. on the idea \\ hich Nations conceive of the Social Order.e manners. riably be produced on the mind of man. and discoveries of every kiud would daily advance with new and more rapid strides. this or that particular penal code either too mild or too severe. as far as it regards the relation of cause and effe3" . Were Nations at peace. the literJture. the arts. by the compression of his natural emotions. I shall also explaIn the effects that must inva. and the highest degree of perfe[lion of which it is SllSceptible. both at home and abroad. from the progress it had been making during ages of tranquillity. is the acquisition of fixed notions 011 the suljeCt of political knowledge. depends the destiny of the human race under all its relations. I shall first take a view of the coun tries \\ hich in all times have been ruled by despotic power. the sciences. I \\ill shew that their history. and . After having fully established the primJry importance of the nature of Constitutions. drawn from the history of t:. and philosophy would not fall back. the art military of every natiou. the administration.

literature is neither encouraged nor advanced by that emulation which calls forth the powers of Eloquence. have their minds daily contrJetcd more .!~ions. afford similar results. and what eagerness he betrays to enlarge his sphere of action. and which within themselves can. because in the two kinds of States the politica~ passions are equally excited in the human mind~ by the removal of all positive fears. which. In the consideration of certain States. it is also to be observed. In States that are sunk in obscurity. still more than by the smallness of their extent. the arts remain stationary.[ 15 ] that by an external force to which his reason gives no kind of assent. from peculiar circumstances. whetl:er demagogical . and over which it possesses no controul.)r military. Men. who are deprived of vigorous occup:. in proportion to his consciousness of powers. that these two causes. by which alone sound judgment and refined taste can with certainty be acquircc. nor by that variety and multitude of objects of comparison. open no field to the range of genius and ambition. and the vivifying influence of all unlimited hopes.and 1I10re within the circle of domestic ideas i • . which appear so opposite. it is curious to observe how solicitous . are utterly lIlla ble to play any principal part on the theatre of Politics. In the examination of anarchies.• man is to exercise his faculties.

it easy to prove. that they are impelled to emerge from that situation which they unite together. and that they conquer in order to extend their pO\\er . from the very nature of mankind. or any obje5t of pursuit. among a similar number of individuals. there is scarcely ever discovered a superior mind. and to enlarge in e\'ery direction the founderies of the human mind. genius. that eager to rouse and exercise their faculties. an energetic character. while in other countries. in a word. on only be expanded and improved by an unchecked intercourse \\ ith dillerent societies. and whatever man inherits as the gifts of nature. in order to multiply the coJ1isions of understanding. • .C16 • ] • but talents. Among the same numoer of men. without any spring of aCtion. they unanimously solicit around th('!11 the interposition of every circumstance that invigorates this impulse and seconds thi~ desire. many would haw soared to distinguished eminence. if a suitable ohject inspired interest. "Without attempting to dwell on the motives of the preference which wisdo:n perhaps might induce us to give to obscure States as well as to obscure conditions. and if interest stimulated them to the study and pursuit of powerful accomplbhments and elevated thoughts. who remain divided and separated. an ardent soul.

by a min ute and detailed know. ill a word. vernment. of sciences. and of lcttcr~. while it curbed the pas. the re·union of every contrast. the llle. a govern men t \\ hich would hold out to a superior man an object worthy of his powers. a perfett idea of complete happiness. ferent reflections would finally lead us to the principal objeCt of Ollr prefent discussion.[ 17 J • These different refleCtions can have no weight or value. which arc w proudly said to flourish only under the 5haue of 1ll0:]. These dif. ledge of history. but in as much as they are countenanced by facts.i(~tion .en guided by that eternal resem blancc between Ilian and man. and of thus reo conciling with the independence of repUblics the splendour of tl:e fine arts.t would awaken genius by emulation.ans of giving to a great nation a constitution built on order and on liberty. which continually holds up to us new obje~s ofconsideration: \\ ben we study it \Iith a fixed view. as I have said before. as it ought to be rejected by the moralist: the individual who should pretend to attain it for himself must be 1> • .ll cbies. The attainment of this end should be as ardently pur£ucd by the legislator. sions of f. while it damped the ambition and dashed the guilty hopes of the usurper: a go. and w1. A government should be forllled tLc. we pursuc the salllC truth through an immense diversity of places anel of times. which would exhibit.

as it were.oll of mixed go. "nd. and even our very enthusiasm for • the repubiic. J . I Lelil ve arellnanimulls as to he inadmi'sibility rf despoLisl1l.e arc or . it is aL~olutely nec~ss:lry to exclude cn~ry thing that savours of the spi· rit of party or the present circul11stanc::s. for as they act upon the mass. . In the prosecution therefore of this w0r~.ts \'. their lIlean~ and e!~. .. But governments hold. fer chance. iz whethcr in the con:.:!I. feat such hopes. "\'ernmc.. but it is of advantage that le.:cts cannot be douutful: nor dot's it follow from hence that we can attain to perfection in the social order.\\e aI": not to admit hereait-tn' ri"h: r \\'c all. \'.• C18 ] mad. \\ hich it is not in his power to direct. or hy another hand. howeY'~r ti\1Jule they may be to ascertain the road that leads to it. or tIle estab. doubtless. weare equilUy 1l:1animous in rejecting the absurdity of _ • . with resped to nations... \Yere we toexallline jn~~itutions in tlwir verv essence.es~io!) to divide the opin:un of thinking men.l"'\~ 0:' any power that lias "lot for its object :h[ happinessof.':. we should • 1\0011 agree that there remains but one grcat q:. li~. though enthllsias\ll ill its purity be the sl1b~ill1est scntimellt \\ hich can possibly inform the heart of man.isbtors should hold this end in view. the just 1101'1'01' impressed by the crimes we have seen commi~tcd. whether it be per{\wmcd by me. as a supers~itJOus veneration for royalty.ould in every manner baffie and de. the phlce of chance.linat.

and those only are can. Let. that order. of conspirators and allarcbists. But some will have it that the security of liberty. quered who are cOl1vincru. As the rerm dono. which \VonId OVerturn and destroy society in the name of the very people who compo. taken in a "ariet)' of senses. while others acknowledge also the truth of the principle. whereas reason she'.mc)' is_ in our days. it \\"ol:ldnot Ill'"" r~n. the revolution must terminate in reasoning. III a word.• [ 19 J a 'I: demagogical constitution. obedience to justice. the constitution of 179. at the same time. the attention of every mind should be occupied: they must be wholly separated fro111 the cn:ltemplation of every thing we have seen. cannot subsist without the aid of an hereditary protecting power. that the maintenance of order. that is. in my opinion. secures liberty: they. "~ . therefore. the odious epithets of servile andJaEliolls. . which confoullds every power· . for. imagine that the blessing of liberty may be obtained without a species of institutions \V hich necessity alone can justify.vs us that they arc not more conducive to the happiness of society than the result of natural ideas. dcred li'ith exaCluesi wilat I alll desirou. to expr"".e it. from every thing connected with the revolution. It is on those two questions that.. I undcrstanJ that wbich "'orb the pcoplc into a continual fcrmcnt. and which reason ought to disavow. as it lK1S been well observed. :Ind even of evcry thing which we now see j ill a word. that are By a dmwgogical constitution.

where it constitutes two branches of the constitution. Several works of excellent writers contain arguments ill" favour of modified hereditary right. IV ho is conscious of possessing talents. will naturally endea\'our first at personal and afterwards at hereditary distinCtions. but the moral world belongs to thought: whoever wields that weapon.• [ 20 • J so liberallv bestowed on mere opinions. but it . and that consequently we ought to give a legal existence to what he will employ force to obtain. omitting on either side those which are supposed to be deducible from right. where the political power was divided between democracy and aristocracy. never • stain the name of men who have any personal merit to distinguish them. or who sees his hands armed with authority. the people and the senate: we ought therefore to expose the motives which induce a belief that the balance of those opposite interests can alone give stability to governments. Our actions only are cognizable by the laws. may thereby disdain to stoop to any other means of defence. while the third power is purely representative. These and many other points of argument it is necessary to Ullfold. or as at Rome. that a man. and the man who is capable of employing it. as in England for example. for the principle of right in politics is that which most unerringly leads to general happiness. may forego all others.

Thus the Roman republic was torn and distraCled. when we interid to bring them to a serious and sincere dis· CUSSlOn. and that this \\'i~er COIll Lination . he is thrown do\\ n by the other. the ambition of an individual.• C 21 J is proper to give a fair and candid expositicn of the arguments of our adversaril''I. disordered this equilibrium. and r~venges himself. whenever a war. like two wrestlers whOIll all equal degree of strength renders motionless. \ \V c shall be told that in En~!and there aioe three interests. • It might be objeCted to them that ~he constituting of two opposite interests in' a state has been the principal cause of the subversion of many governments: and it has been regarded as the highest perfeCtion of political science 80 to measure the two opposin g aClions. And. for" following up the comparison. or the mere operation of time. and when from this perfea balance arises that rest which results from two efforts repressed one hy the olher. the most prosperous moment of all such governments is that when these powers are thus nicely poised. that the aristocratic and democratic power may be exaCtly balanced. the instant that one of the wrestlers loses but for a minute the advantage. indeed. but rises again. by throwing down bis antagonist in his turn. But such a state cannot be of long duration.

men seleCted from among an immense nation. rejetiing at the same time whatever tends to democracy? Let us suppose. such a government: hereditary privileges and those that are not hereditary may pass under different denomination:. and. not be possible for mankind. so necessary ~ • . to fin d out the means of terminatin g this struggle between aristocracy and democracy. at first. one vivitying principle in a state. which has proved the destruCtion of so many states. who have so long been the witness and the vitiim of this principle of hatred. an election proceeding on two principles. but the division of power always proceeds on these two groundsthese are the grand motives of opposition \\ hich induce men to separate or to unite. which. on tl:e necessity of their having passed through ~itllations \\ hich discover the talents and the dispc5itions of the human mind.. never fails to be finally overturned. a very small number of . of this germ of death. May it . But there cat" be no such tting as three interests in . instead of attempting the formation of a balance of power.[~2 J secures the public tranquility. ilnu claims to the public esteem. duly to examine whether the modern notion of a representative system docs not succeed in creating one interest. by leaning to liberty. and of their possessing both an independency of fortune.

and of property? '{l. whom it \\ill place in the most emi· nent statiolls of society. would assign to talent its proper place. The advantages or an aI istocracy of birth would result from a combination of circllmstances which make it lllOre probable that in such a class is to be fOl:nd the infl L1ence of generous • sentiments. of virtues. the pre-eminence and ascen· dancy of talents.[ 23 J to support them in such situations. II ithout any of the inconvcniencies of an oppo~itioll of in· terests . when its proceed. would entrust the more enlightened with the government of their fel· low men. deJafto. it would oJlcn the fie:d of emulation to all. division of powers may be :lttended with al1 the advantages. that two Councils. through the elective privilege of their inferiors. which would prove. ings are conduCted with wisdom alld integrity.love of the multitude in the succC'ss of their rulers. canllot fail to seleCt mcn disLlllg uished for their talents. without constituting two classes de jure. while it adillitted but the chosen few.is kind of dhtjnC1:ion. it wouid also interest the self. The aristocracy of election. with an Executive • - . might not ?n eleetioli thus modified establish an aristocracy of the LJ~tter kind. and by raising superior charaC1ers to power. and alfbrd mediocrity its proper canso· lation . vVhere is the impossibilIty but that a. hostile to each other.

where the same man mllst attach • to himself the public opinion fl:om the Rhine • ° . for no contrary interest \\ ould 0Pi}c)se :m invincible obstacle to their re·unic!1.nite and blend with the general mU. 011 tile contr::ry.) that each may take a different direaion from the nature of his employ. have remained separated cc:rin g the period of their magistracies. is immediately crushed and overpowered t>\' the mass. till!] 0. or the ambition of a single individual.Yhere is the impossiLility but that aa extensive country. which is of a tendency very different indeed? Those persons who thus. It is impossible there should exist an usurper in a . • • m:Jy <"dden1y ~eize on the citadelof. not from an esprit de corps. far from being an impediment to such an order of things. though temporary. by its very exten t.::ol:nt1"\.ss ef the nation. be peculiarly ad::pted to ics stability? For a successful consnirac". may afain rC-i. :ll:J tlY t:1:1t alone change the form of its govcr:1l11e:1t. from their re~peB:i\'e departments in the adi11inistra. or by a faction that is !:ot \\armcrl and informed by the public heart. '\\ hi Ie it is the impulse only of one vgen~ral ouinion th:lt C:ll1 rouse and call into • aCtion thirty 1:liilib:1S of men.• [ ~4 ] DireCtory. \\ hieh rushes on from all quarters.' the public po\'Oer. every thing that is effeCted Uj i:HliviJuals only. may. may remain pcrfeElly distin[t in the discharge of their function.a small stace. .

and only attain simple ideas as we idvance in the progre. In all human sciences we begin with complex ideas. \\ hich. The governors in a small cOllntry nre far l1Iore multiplied in relation to the go. On the revival of letters. The government of extensive cotllltries is upheld by the enormo:Js mass of peace.ss to perfection. and this mass is prh!Joltionally greater in a great nation than ill a s!llall cou/ltry. can alone be a centre of unity. that no constitution has been ever botwmed on such a basis.e first Uterary performances which were tomposel. A comparison will explain my meaning more distinctly. and that it is much wiser to adopt the forms that have already existed for ages. enabled to spread \\ ide the influence of its po\\er. if I mistake not. and more easily asserted. 25 J . Abso.• t to the " Pytenees. in a word. the idea of a constitution. t . J would only entreat to dwell f6r a 'Plo. able men. those who persist in the unqualified assertion. and the part which each of them takes in any proceeding whatever is propol'tionally greater. deserves very particular attention. df un order of things. verned.i lit . sanctioned and su pported by general assent. ment on a reHeClion. lute ignorance in these natural combinations is not so far removed from the highest point of knd\\ledge as a smattering of information.

rai'cd for the supply of the gardens. ' Shall we :. practised and introduced into fashion the simple s~ile of writing. The ~peech of the savage who exclaimed. formerly -:I. which at that period it was possible to attain. suppose t. Independently of all the individual royal residence in • The machine at Marli. at enormous expence. water i. by' water-works upo. Now. consequences in some respeers as beneficial. FraI>'. not far from Versailles.e. Without meaning to convert a comparison into a proof. The great writers. _ . which produce the same effect. t. ter the revolution. The complex structure of the English government might be the highest pgint of perfeCtion. After this machine were discovered pumps.ebeuf or Chapelain. in others still more advantageous.[ 26 J were ftill of litiffhess and affeetatidn. however. after it has existed an hundred years in England. which. In mechanics.ay to the ashes of our fathers. where. af. the idea of liberty should again have appeared in the world. the machine at Marli* was first discovered. two ages after.hat. raised water to the summit of a mountain. rise up and follow us?' bore a 'greater affinity to the stile of Voltaire than the turgid vel'ses of B. principles much more simple may produce in France. the Seine.e. with infinitely less apparatus.

we attain conclusions which . which have lost all hold on the mind of every perSOll who exercises the powers of refleCUon. abo straCt que!'tions. It would be no inconsiderable advantage. llers are more closely connected with simple institutions. crimes which have been perpetrate~. and many others. to treat. It should never be forgotten that this . is the only point upon which difference of sentiment exists. order itself was threatened with destruction in . complete discussion of the nature and utility of hereditary authorities. social. These considerations. would lea4 to a. in a manner purely. Still. • • . times. than with those of a complicated nature. system which was adopted.o\ls man. like every other science. parts of a constit!Jtioll . I am persuaded. which opposite passions have alternately perverted to their own views. and.. . di minished without weakening the effc:ct. advances to perfection in proportion as the llum bel' of powers brought into play is '.[ 27 J' '. however. ill understood.. By examining truth. ' Barbar. detached from men and from particular.. by the politicaL. tracies. the course of this revolution. the remains of despotic or demagogical opinions are extravagant or criminal chimeras. it is true. that social order.as component. the nature and:utility of constitutions admitting only temporary magis.

Every consideration imperiously prohibits Eu" rope to follow her example. in whatever general.lestion of the pre5ent state of France. cuted a work of this n. Can the people of France wish to undergo the miserie. and to l'3onclude without viewing them in their relatiOll to France and the rest of Europe. ho. .Lture. . Every con· sideration invite~ France to remain a repuhlic. the calami.point of view these great questions might be considered. After having exe· . that of Bejamin Constant.. the hop's of which are in futlll ity. in order to'super. One of the most ingenious performances 1)f our time. sede that which establishes the repuhlic? Is the coura?e of so m:lllY armies and the blood of so many heroes to be lavished in the name • of a chimera. But can Europe be insprcJ \\ ith sufficient horror for revolutions? These who detest the principles .riment. of a new revolution. it would be in1possilJle to refrain from a particular application. plete rimnner the qi.afterwards may be applied with greater facility to present circlimstances.:. has treated in a most com. Two motives of feeling strike my t11ind \\ ith particular force upon this S~l bjeCl:. which should leave nothing be· :pind it but the we\l1ory of the crimes which it has cost 1 France then ought to persevere in that grand exp. ever.ties of which are passed.

France':" tIlo3eintolerant and fanatical beings can never ~onvince. do we ourselves obtain the end . Bllt let' Europe listen with respect to the friend!! of Ii berty~' and 'of that reo publican government in 'France which they embraced with:zeal:and alilcrity. it is perhaps to condemn to destruction the onjeC1 we hold most del+r! Never. at pre.nies of 'evuy idea of Iiberty~ who rickon it criminal til love ~ repnblic even in iiTiagination. of which the nature of things . the philosophers of foreign countries. contains such inveterate abuses but that a single day of revolution would extort more tears than all the miseries it was' in tended to remedy. the Sydneys were insepilrably confounded with the criminals'" ho have disgraced . . prise he has begun. No monarchical gbvernment. too. when it was no longer criminal to adopt it.of the l!'rench"collstitution. No man can flatter him\>elf with the hope that he shall be able to reo gulate an im pulse.which we had proposed to pur. who are the avowed ene!. sent. To wish for a revolution is t6 devote to death alike the innocent and' th~ guilty. as if the Catos. by their vehement 'declamiltions. \vhen the wish migh't be indul'ged' without shedding a drop of blood. the Brutbses. c!lase with that dreadful sacrifice: In the terrible movements with whiGh revolutions are attended) 110 man i~ able to comolete the enter.

hether the old man had formed :t just estimate of huhum pol!cy. one day to. * This attempt was aCtually made ~ome years ago by an English nollleman. At least. however. let us submit to torture and to death in the :sacrifice of our warmest affeCtions. destined. to try all principles? Attend ye \\'ho belong to the present generation.>rave all prejudicies. . posed. The slave. perhaps. our dearest attachments. but his mhness cost him his life.. " Permit us in France to fight and canque. who should imagine that he could steer his course with success through the events of a whole revolution. of his property for the future! Alas! is it not fortunate for you that a whole nation has thus placed itself as the vanguard of the human species. proseri ptiol1. would not be less fi'antic than the Englishman who endeavoured to descend in his boat the falls of the Rhine at Schaffouse. keep far from your societies animosity. revive for the astonishment and admiration of the world. of ambition. and then you will know whether we have· acquired: th~ true science of the happiness of mankind. to 1. you will then know \.w an age to pass over our destinies. or the young man had dis.[ 30 J necessarily assumes the guidance. allo.". to the best advantage.

To shun them. I hope I may be forgiven for having allowed myself thus to be hurried beyond my subjeCt . indepen. dence of mind is the principal ohjeCl to be cultivated. on the contrary. would be the most miserable nation in the universe. The first part which I now deliver to the public is founded upon the study of our own heart. The man who should devote his life to the pursuit of perfect felicity would be the most wretched of beings. the nation which should only direct its effort!i to the attainment of the highest abstract point of metaphysical liberty. Legislators then ought to calculate and to direCt circumstances. but who can live. and I . In the moral science of man. who can write at the present moment. No duty can exact sacrifices lih these. and upon the observations made upon the charaCter of mankind in every age. is a 1"". and liberty as the means. quence which it may afford. In the study of government we must propose happiness as theend. individuals should endeavour to render them. without feeling and refleCting upon the revolution of France? I have marked out an imperfeCl sketch of the work which I projected. the happiness to be enjoyed is the conse. selves independent of them: governments should aim at the real happiness of all .C 31 ] :md death. which every duty combines to impo~e.

of opposing to each other the various component parts of the body politic. we are not startled by the • apprehension. every thing conspires to oppose the desires of the individual. There is considerable advantage to be obtained from proposing. We calculate our own strength. Every thing COIlcurs to the preservation of the species. as the objeCl bf aUf efforts upon ourselves. In our breasts we have no compromise to make with external obstacles. and governnlents. may attain that perfe.<tion of which the general order furnishes the exam pie. cannot promise them personally any· enjoyment but that which ever depends tlpon themselves. and yet there is no felicity for individuals. ~ In the very oropr of things some good"is necessarily produced for the 1113SS. in some respeCts representatives of the scheme which ohtain in the system of nature. to :Ill those individual beings carried along in the universal moment. the most perfeCt philosophical independence. But moralists. ACt. as in experiments tlpon nationsj of disjoining. or we abandon . addressi n l! themsE'lves. ing at once upon the whole of the being which constitutes ourselves. ofseparating. we triumph. to men singly.ith happiness.lseless attempts leave behind them some salutary effeCts. Even i." h10ralists ought to teach individuals to dispense Y. as I can· ceive.

and flatter himself with its attainmcnt. dustry. itis truc. At that period of life we seem to think t:lat we have never dedicated enough of our tillle to please those we love. Nothing. Every thing is simple. to surrender our whole being to others: \Ve figure to ourselves a futurity wholly composed of those ties which we have formed. that irresistible necessity which impels us to devote our whole att~ntion. The carliest impulse is to consecrate life to acquire th~ love of friends. vour of the pu blic. we rely with the more implicit confidence upon their duration. that we have never sufficiently proved holV necessary the:r welfare is to our existence. I am prepared for the various ohjeClions of feeling and of argument which may be urged against the system inculcated in this first part. is Illore repugnant to the first emotions of youth than the idea of rendering ourselves independent of the affeetions of others. and to captivate the fa. every thing even is possible. We are conscious of possessing F • . U 11\\ earied in. incessan t services. it is true that every individual may aspire at that character.[ 33 J the contest. for if it is allowed to consider a whole nation as a people of philosophers. are but poor displays of that ardour of soul. because we ourselves are incapable of ingratitude.

Our words. :\"ry thing which we observe arounc1 o . they confess it. we depend upon friendship thus constituted more than upon any other tie in nature: every thing is means. this alone is the end. and our friends seem pledges for the atrainment of our wishes. L. All that knowledge has \\ itnessed. \\'e have done every thing to promote their advantage. they know it.[ 34 J • right to ackno\dedgement. It is with a feeling of unlimited con£dence like this.r 5ituation.ofthe bad dispositions ofa great num her of men. the air we breathe. Every thing that be. all seem to •vou to bear the impression of what we really are. Why then Will truth. the truth impressed by expe. fail to convince the world of our sineerity r What! can it fail to be ultimately recognised? The innumerable proofs which from every quarter conspire to establish its reality must at length triumph over the fabri· cations of calumny. appears in your mind like history. Wenever think of applying any of these general ideas to our partic l1 L. and we deem it impossible to be long exposed to erroneous interpretations. rience. like the lessons in morality which we are taught.!s '-". We wish likewise to obtain the esteem of the public. our accents. but never have experienced. that we launch with flying sails into the ocean of life. all that report has communicated to you.

in order to acquit themselves of the greatest defect by which a man can be disgraced. . if in any manner their expectation is disappointed. In muny respeCts our lot is fixed.er experienred are known only to our understanding. cover a thousand defeCts in it. is alone fcIt and obeyed. They pry into your charaOer. precisely at that period . At the age of twenty-five. The talent we tll11Y possess obtains no influence upon our conduct The voice ~f the heart. they deny the sincerity of your attachment. a severe change takes place in our existence. the impulf\e of the so. they are anxioUs to justify to their OWll minds.separate themselves from you. without eyer entering into life.when lifeceases to enlarge. the injury to you which they. All then is not future ill our destiny. If such a union present to their view fewer advantages than they had imagined. however. and guiding our actions.areabout to commit.ul. they endeavour to dis. Those faCis whicn we ourselves have nev.C35 J us Is classed as exception. when our being is fixed. The friends who incur the guilt of ingratitude endeavour to degrade yOlt in order to justify themselves . by some pretext. Men begin to judge of our situation. at the moment ·theyhave resolved to . and men then reflect whether it be for their advan~ tage to connect their fortune with ours. they charge you .

This individual who defames you with malignity. What it formerly had supported by its authority it now attacks. the his.. It loves that success which it anticipates. loses all the indulgence it had testified. a kind of uncertain and equivocal character. of which opinion is guilty in a thousand ways. and their own. what it formerly had encouraged by its protection.ces. renews . at once excites agonizing sensations. 36 . which every man will explain as he affects. is too unworthy for you to regret his suffrage. . every suc.r t. What a multitude of painful feelings then assails the heart of him who had indulged the fond wish and cherished the delightful plan of living in the affections of others. but every petty detail of a great vexation. and finds himself deceived in this illusion! Your system of life is attacked.. tory of which unfoldll1 to your view•. whose favour had been experienced. it now labours to destroy. sive bID\\' shakes to its foundations the unity of the whole arrangement. And he too aballdolls me. they employ 6eparate and contradiCtory means to throw over your conduct. it becomes hostile to that of which itself is the cause. is a painful idea which gives to the la"t tie which is broken a value and an interest it had not till then possessed.J with officiousness: in a word. The public also. This injustice.

we are disposed to suspect without cause. More uncertain of the future than even when the prospecl was dimmed by the clouds of infancy. the progress. Is it sensibility. Once having trust.murder? • At this fatal epoch the earth. It ill at that period of life when the circle of elljoy· . that is nothing but a phantol11? And does that sublime complaint which Brutus uttered in the fields of Philippi infer. though aW!'Ire of its inevitable term. as it were. ed without discretion. In a word. we enter·tain doubts of all that we imagined we had known. which we had imposed upon our conduct. and anew begin our eXis. with this difference. what course we ought to pursue. you nevertheless experience some painful emotion at every step of . the affections. Henceforth we know IJot to what source we ought to repair.[ 97 J .Jour anguish and your suffering. which discourage us from the prosecution of that system of perfection with which our bosoms once proudly swelled. is it virtne. the gay colouring of life fades away. seems to sink under our feet. either that we ought to abandon that rigid morality. which disgust us equally with ourselves and with others. that we no longer have hope as a companion to cheer us in the jOlll'llcy.tence. or does it prescribe to us self.of the heart are withered. Faults are contraCted.

it unquestionably is necessary to enfiame r. Hthe l>oul is to be considered only as an impulse. while they are to be nothing more than the spectators of these shocking comhats. that in attempting to subdue the passions I am labouring to extinguish the principle ·of the most glorious of human actions. wastes his life. and the third part of life hanEy attained.. till 1 had reached thOlt age. it adds to the superiority of man. that this book is calcu'lated • to be useful. maybe objeCl-ed to me likewise. It is not fit to be read sooner. If men destitute of. It.these unfortunate . so much is firm and . C38 J ment has been explored. and generous sentiments.not entirely of this opinion: I admit that there is something elevated in passion. that while it continues. before their eyes. Althougb I am . thisimpulse is more ·lively when excited by ·passion. or even conceive the design of this work. sublime discoveries. but employs it with greater en\!rgy. for I myself did not begin. if the. perhaps.passions must be roused by the int~rest of some grand spectacle.gladiators mustmittually murder each other. that under its dominion he is able to accomplish whatever he proposes.y every possible contrivance .persever· ing will an acUve:force in the moral order of things. Man. then. hurried away by something more powerful than himself.

Like real tyrants. But it may be said that it is to guide. Either he can rely upon governing within his own breast. scious that there reigns within him a power superior to himself. he must be wholly dependent. not to conquer these passions that our efforts ought to be direCted. It never was my intentioll.' C39 J beings whose impetuous feelings lire destiged to animate or to desolate the theatre of the world. the extinction of all the pl!ssions. men are imbued with them at their birth. might exist without this destructive • • sprmg.. it must either be enthroned in power. and upon this. and then there are no passions. titute of pleasurable feelings at that period when ' . Still it has been my principal endeavour to present a system of life which should not be wholly des. All these compromises with passion are completely imaginary. then. to devote this work to . however. every impulse necessary to virtue. what general happiness can be obtained by the encouragement thus given to the passions of the soul r Every emotion necessary to·sociallife. or subdued in fetters. For my part. I do not understand how it is possible to direCt that which only exists while it governs without controul. Man is capable but of two states. But what advantage can they· derive from this course. or he is con.

what efforts should he be called upon to exert. I conceive. is the relation which obtains bet\\ een the passions of man and the agreeable or painful impressions of which he is conscious in his heart. if man were not born with passions. Indeed. and the anguish inflicted by the remorse which attends the commission of wrong. 0r fill him with apprehension for the fate of human kind? Am I liable also to the reproach of having failed to treat separately of the enjoyments attached to the performance of our duties. In the prosecution of this plan. and the necessity of its sacrifices cannot be felt but by those who have been unhappy. and the point which I was principally anxious to demonstrate.[ 40 ] the hopes of positive happiness in this state of existence disappear. and who have struggled to regain the empire of themselves. M:H"!j' of its enjoyments belong only to souls originally ardent. or the guilt of having negleCted those duties to which we stand engaged? . These two primary ideas of our existence apply equally to all situations. what should he have to fcar. That system is suited only to those whose charaCler is naturally sub. that I have proyed that there is no happiness without . what could the feelings of his mind present to occupy the moralist. jeCt to the influence of passion. to all charaCters. at the same time.

to study the thoughts. which it is necessary to impose upon this liberty. sO much is certain. That we arrive at this conclusion by every path we pursue. I again repeat. to prepare. is always prescribed bv the effervescence of some one of the human • • paSSIOns. the employments. . to investigate what are the reflections. I cherished the hope. haunts my imagin3. to enter upon the calculation of the effects of their union in societies. Every remembrance which the mind preserves is tinged with this terrible event. The image of misfortune. It was my wish likewise to render this first part lIseful to the second. In a word. allusions will sometimes occur to the revolution of France. the institutions which producl1 pain to mankind. in whatever aspect it appears. is a fresh evidence of its truth. the combinations which are calculated to diminish in any degree the severity of the sufferings to which the human soul is exposed. that my only obje'ct has been to combat misery under every appearance it may assume. since every restriction. cilitate the attainment of his political liberty. that by labouring to promote the moral independence of man. by the examination of men individually. we should fa.[ 41 J virtue. whatever opinion may be formed of my plan. the feelings. In the analysis of the various moral affections of man.

[ 42 J tiOI1 and tears my heart. whatever injustice. whether any po\\cr of meditation we posscssJ may not-con· ~ . those tears which the ancit":lts colleCted in a consecrated urn-Such v:as the veneration with which they viewed the august speCtacle of human sorrow. steal upon my heart. We ought also to try 'whether any shadow of talent. that within the limits which bound our existence. of all griefs the I1Wst poignant. at the idea of the sufferings which :1:1} fellow creature endures I am penetrated w. and even the remorse \\ hich the guilty suffers. at the .th sympathetic emotions at the prospeCl of those inevitable vexations.jeW of those wounds of the heart. of the torll1ent~ \vhich spri:1g from t).e imagination. I am penetrated with sorrow at the prospeCt of those evils which draw forth the tears of anguish. Alas! It is not enough to have sworn.ents which the just man'undergoes. w/' should never voluntarily occasion a painful sensation to any human being: we Iik~wise should never voluntarily forego the possibility of solacing a single woe. In a word. and those bitter regrets which we blush to own without ceasing less aClltely to feel. whatever injury. that a susceptibi!ity inexpressihly tender. Alas! I myself have ex perienccd so bitterly what it is to be miseT:l!Jle. a disquietude mingled \\'ith sorrow. we may be doomed to suffer. the disappointn. . .

if time and study ran unfold any doClrine. it should seem that the world would be then furnished with a completc exam pIe of all those moral shields \\ hich protect the fate of man from the dominion of Jlli5fort~ne.ophic height \\ hich is beyond the reach of the weapons which annoy.• [ 13 J tribute to the discovery (If that language with which melancholy gently agitates the soul. whether we mi~ht not assist to discover that philo. and. In a word. . of the most sang Ilinary of all furies. hy which we may be enabled to demonstrate polio tical principles \\ith that evidence \\hich in future will reSCUe them from being the subject of two religions. consequently.

as well as its pains. = OF THE lOVE OF GLORY. I. CHAP. the love of glory is the most exalted principle which can actuate the soul. I leave to the signification of this word all its • . OF all the passions of which the human heart is susceptible.[ 45 J OF THE - PASSIONS~ -~~----- SECTION THE FIRST. result only from the entire developement of its power. In order to deserve the name of passion. According to that sublimity of virtue which seeks in our own conscience for the motive and the end of condllC1:. there is none which possesses so striking a charaC1:er as the Love of Glory. it must absorb all the other affections of the sOlll. The traces of its operations may be discovered in the primitive nature of man. and its pleasures. but it is only in the midst of society that this sentiment acquires its true force.

that I intend at present to direCt my enquiries.in order to determine its influonce upon happiness. . I shall not hesitate to disp!ay it in all the seducing brilliancy of its charms. Even countries and nations unknown to me shall have right to the fruit of my wakeftll toils.( 46 J proper greatness. • The honourable and sincere friend of glory propo~es a magnanimous treaty with the human race. it is to glory itself. free from thl: contraCted influence of individual sentimentsJ I measure . but by genius. He thus addresses them: "I will conse· crate my talents to your service. My ruling passion will incessantly impel me to communicate J. to that which is truly just·and great. It cannot be preserved. Indeed true glory cannot be ob. Every thinking being possesses coml11on relations to me. that is. or by virtue. and. 'Vhen I come to treat of ambition. by preserving its connex ion with the real value of the aAions which it ought to inspire. sent. I shall take an opportunity to speak of that fleeting success which may imitate or resemble glory.appiness to the greatest portion of man· kind by the fortunate result of my efforts. summon the universe and posterity to' confirm the title of so august a crown. At pre. and. We always tained by a relative celebrity. then.

and that genius alone should have fulfilled its conditions? Doubtless it is a most fascinating enjoyment. that the glory of my name may be united to the merit of my actions. to make the universe resound with our name. that you celebrate its author. For me. however. that you exist in tLeir hopes. by the habitual consciousness that the whole attention 'of a great number of men is directed towards you. I know. The soul swells with elevated delight. that every idea that rises in your mind may influence the ·destiny of -multitudes. I require your assistance." 'What openness. only by the extent of my beneficence. \\ hat simplicity in this contraCt! How is it pO'>sible that nations should never have observed it with fidelity. and believe that we constitute some of the metaphysical attributes of the Eternal. both as.[ 47 J • the degree of my happiness. As the reward of this devoted attachment. ourselves that we can reconcile our minds to any iIIusioll. that great events ripen . constitutes its own enjoyment and reo ward. that you command fame to discharge your debt of gratitude.to the nature of space and the dllrathm of !ife. in order to obtain that reward which is necessary to my happiness. all I ask is. Virtue. to exist 50 far beyond.

[ 48 J and unfold themselves in your breast. and which com· municate an active energy to life. must transport youth with hope and inflame it with emulation. sometimes the most fortunate incident:> \\ ith \\ hich it is attended arise from the interests by which it \\as preceded. and in the name of the people who rely upon your knowledge demand the most lively attention to your own thoughts. But it is not this species of glory which displays in striking colours all the sympt9ms of this elevated passion. borrowing from solitary pleasures. The paths which lead to this great end are strewed with charms. \\ hich in an instant saws and reaps. whose overpowering eloquence or whose invincible . and by the commotions which they produce. It does not possess that commanding genius. The exertions which the ardour of attaining it prescribes. and is crowned with the reward. and in the career of success. All these ani· mating forms under which glory presents itself to our view. The acclamations of the multitude agitate the soul at once by the reo flexions which they inspire. may participate in their advantages. are themselves accompanied with delight. The glory which results from literary perform· ances or from great actions is subject to different combinations: the first.

our observation. secure the exercise of all its faculties. It is not that emotion. is the com bination of those circul1lstances • which cQmmunicate splendour to life. in a word. as there is nothing instantaneous in its effeCts. but even when this .Ill gov.fortunate distinCtion is attained. to the highest point ofhappi. The genius which can· sists in aClion is exempted from the obligation ofa\"aitin g that tardy j lIstice which Titl1e brings in his train. It !l!aces Glory in front. to judge with more precision of the obstacles and the hardships it has to encounter. intoxicate by the certainty of the power with whiCh it is endowed. lished.tab. all powerful in its effeCts. in . ness which the love of glory can attain. the literary career cannot like aCtive glot.y.:.h • j . produce the complete. we must confine . th~n.eheredltary distinctionsare~ei. In order. then. The principal difficultJ.. like the pillar of fire which formerly enlightened the march of the Israelites The celebrity to he obtained by literary productions is rarely colem!Jorary.i . The • H .- C 49 J courage decides in an' instant tlte fate of ages and of empires. and. nothing ardent in its splendour. display of its physical and moral force.ern. ments wher. to guide its course. which commands obedience by inspiring similar ~entiments. and which comple5ses In the present moment all the en· joyments of the future.

COil· ceive themselves equally qualified to act in the • same circumstances. superstition. and without allowing for the diversity of talents. offend the majority of men. tion to which their destiny can aspire. does not guide the fortune . when they see a man indulge the hope of crossing the boundary which separates him from those distinctions.~s the work of their own hands. and attributing this determination to tt.eir wisdom. Those who. tize.[ 50 J -efforts which are' necessary to rise from an ob. In monarchies of an aristocratical consti· tution. some power independent of men. and attaining by his talents the highest eleva. the multitude. scure situation. from the spirit of domi· :nation. in order to perform a part which we have not been called upon to under.om chance has abandoned. sometimes delight to advance the man . magic. are placed within reach of the -most di:.w. ill a word.n opposite conduct as absurd. conceive it a mark -of contempt to themselves. not to the mediocrity of their abilities. those who have resigned themselves cO their lot. forbids them to renounce their right over that existence which they have -created. The sallie spi. consider this existenclt . rit.tinguished offices. stigma. take. and unless fate..h. however. The people. Those .if the ~ame class with the adventurer. by their ~ank.

and. nothing is more difficult than to know to what degree we ought to cultivate the desire of popularity while we enjoy unpopular distinCtions. But. The people will not maintain their own work. which derives from the same source its existence and its celebrity. the chance of talents is narwwed. It is . in some respects have many useful advantag~s connected with their situation. nor will yield submission: to a t10rce of which they feel themselves the chief support. Those who. both in proportion to the number. there are some which are personal to his situa. tion.• [ 51 J of him who in a monarchical government owes his elevation to the opinion of the people. press close. more close around you. in the first place. independently of the obstacles common to all. that species of negligence which certain advantages inspire. and still more. those wLv consider themselves in many respects your equals. Rivals among that limited number to which yOll belong. in such an order of things. he will not long preserve a glory which is at once created and rewarded by the public suffrage. should you be inclined to remove them to a distance. But when genius· elevates the man whom the ranks of monarchy had previously separated from the rest of his fellow citizens. are born in the privileged class.

beian. when it rises to a certain ht-ight. in. he is hated. but is disgusted with servility. It is plea::. and that which. The renllncia· . A pIe. is desirous to acquire true glory. and conscious of it. he cultivates popul3rity. he will incessantly be liab:e to incur either suspicion or ridicule. certaill of its unlimited pov. If he disdains popu~arity. in a democratic state. life alone call be sacrificed with renown. is contrary to their nature. in order to avoid this reproach.hich for a mo. and it demands respect without flattery. spires modesty. cloyed with the possession of soyereign power. Of all the advantages we possess. If~ after all. he \1 ill only incur the imputation of pride. 1\len al e n"t pleased to see personal interest \\holly abaudnned. These general difficulties . under a monarchical government. ment seems to dispute its authority only to rEnew the enjoyment which it affords. That opinion. But if a nobleman pursue a similar course in a monarchical state. instead of acquiring the reputation of courage.ed with gratitude.almost inlpossible always to know with eel'· tainty the degree of deference \\ e ought to show for the general opinion.er.tie felt with double severity by th~ nobleman whlJ. it loves that proud and independent character. v. is treated with contem pt. mv obtain adnlira• tion by braving popularity.

although much mOI:e rare and more estilpab!e. if they are founded upon the basis of aristocracy alone. placed between the nation and the mon:tfch. with difficulty obtain glory in any other • situation but that of the army. That spirit of moderation which Montesquieu has so jllst:y assigned as the . he surrenders hilll~elf to the illl ptlbe of th:lt valour. between their political existence and their general in. or the attri. that talent which secures viCtory. soldiers display more constancy in their attachment to their generals than citizens in their gratitude to their rulers. The most of the considerations which have been mentioned do not apply to military success. butes of his nature. • • In repu blics. is represented as a kind of cheat. and for this reason. it no longer excites the enthusiasm of those who ::re the objeCts of the sacrifice. The moral being confers no superiority in the immediate confllel: of battle. that enterprize. While this state continues.en. all the members who (lol1lpose one class form an ob. terest. in the sallle manner as weak bodies follow the attraction of the greater.[ 53 J tion of others. war leaves to I\lan only his physical faculties. and although it infers a much higher degree of devotion when if is called a cheat. The nobles t~.tacle to the glory of each individual.

tion in a state where great talents cannot find scope for their exertion in a manner that would conduce to the advantage of all. or which rises to eminence in the wise a'Jd paternal govenment of the republic of Berne. and constitutes it& strength. would give a precipitate impulse to the ~qual and uniform movement of these governments. and tha~ . it is ne. violen t concussions would necessarily result frol11 a constitution. A great man.ary to distinguish two epochs in their exis. brity. or they are confined within certain limits which never permit them to attain cele. Strangers never hear of a name of pecu. ce~c. 'v"ith regard to popular republics. the uniformity of which at onc~ secures its tranquillity.principle of aristocratic republics. that wblch preceded the art of printing. actuated by the desire of displaying his superiority. As utility. they have no opportunity to unfold themselves. represses the soaring flight of genius. likewise. tence. which are completely different. and \\ere a man to impress upon the govern ment his ow n particular charaCter. is the principle of admira. The same spirit has for several ages continued to guide a variety of different individuals. they are extinguished. liar distinCtion which the government of Venice has produced.

it is almost impu. know. investigation had not yet changed into positive knowledge the magic of all their effects. out controul to this enthusiasm. and desolates or sUbjects the nation which resigns itself with. for wars of opinion finish with the events which decide them. were easily led. hence the never-ceasing factions by which states were distracted. <:ul.'[ 55 ] which is cotemporary with the'greatest possible extension of the liberty of the press. The secret of causes was then unknown. a vi.ted the preceding day. ledge not being then generally diffused. of consequence. When the liberty of the press. but the power of superior men is renewed with every generation./. and with the discussions by which they are explained. however) and whaN. the multiplicity of newspapers) every day makes public the ideas which havecir.stonishment" and. Ac· cordingly men were liable to be struck with . gorous understanding. possessed great advantages for acting upon the minds of the multi· tude. They believed that one individual among them was necessary to the whole body.sible .s stillmore. He who was endowed with superior talents. Hence arose the formidable dangers to which liberty was exposed.r. That which has preceded the art of printing must be favourable to the ascendancy or one man.

ses of tl-e great ascendant which superior genius obtained at Athens and Rome. acts upon judl!:~lent. of the a] most brnd empire \\ hieh in ancient times it exercised over the multitur. .56 J tllere tan exist. to the support o( ~(ln. But the people then . which. fects in charaElers. it \\ill be seen that opinion was never fixed .e wperstition.for esteem does not destroy equality j ~nd he.e.ieh they had acquired. or by a sn all numher of coterilporary philosophers.C. of individuals If we wish to investigate the C. he who endeavours to distinguish himself is at vari· ance with the self· love of others: every step wLich raises him above the level kiildics the wish to bring him do\\'n from his. however. whom the general opinion had not misled. preserved the glory \\ l. to the end of their days. In the pre~ent state of the world. in SllCh a country.l\. that it was always owing to sOllietbing different from itself. Kings have been known. who extends it to another. \\ ho. ensured. tachment to men is bl'.nished. formerly. eminence. what is called • glory There may be esteehl. that its permanence \\a.by means of O?ill ion itself. There are de. But an enthusiastic at. were dis· • covered either by the light of history. instead of resigning its exercise. TI'e mass of enlightened n:en assume a kind of active pride which destroys the Sllccess.

Sometimes we find N uma inventing a fa Lie. relying more upon credulity than upon the intrinsic merit of his code. In a word. by enriching the mass. that the observatiun of the flight of birds com· pelled them to engage. every discovery which knowledge has produced.beiieved that royalty was of divine origin. in order to judge completely of an event. avoiding that conduct which would have led men to judge. The more the mind is allowed to ex patiate in the future career of possi ble perfeeti bility. It will not. He I . when they intended to fight a battle. in order to secure the acceptance 0 1 those LlWS whirh wisdom had dictated. and the truly great men are those who have reno dered such superior beings as themselves les9 nrcessary to future generations. yet be found that the present age aHards the idea of such a progress. declared. diminishes the empire of the individual. and the spring of virtue more powerful than the passion of glory. Human kind is the heir of genius. the more we see the advantages of understanding surpassed by positive kn()wl~dge. The most renowned Roman generals. It was in this manner that the great men of antiquity concealed the • ditiates of their genius under the appearance of superstition. but we Illllst sec in the aCtual etiect the future cause. perhaps. although they knew that they were right.

which are applicable to aU times and to aU countries. bition connects itself with one side or the other.[ 58 J who. gable in favour of him who has gained distinc· tion. speEting the reputation of the individual con· cerned. in the mines where metals are concoCted. rives. ons may be considered. at a time when the principle of novelty alone is sufficient to weary the public with the uniform repetition of the same panegyrics. remains passive as long as its brilliancy remains undiminished. In whatever light. During the same period it is that friends are most indefati. two parties immediately form. He who is inclined to become the adversary of great success. is unacquainted with the course of nature. these refiel . When the difficulties of the first steps are surmounted. but because am. while . however. sees only the devouring fire which seems to consume every thing. not that there are different modes of judging of the same conduCt. I return to the gLileral considerations upon the obstacles and the mis· fortunes connected with the passion for glory. They are fatigued with their previous exertions. re. and cannot paint to his fancy the future but by multiplying the present. when the moment of misfortune ar. Enemies enter the lists with fresh arms.

from the first step which it takes. that the one may be abandoned in a great variety of modes. • reviewing with attention the very small nlllllber of ex. then. suc. and ascribe to the neglect of their advice the last misfortunes which their friend has sustained. on the other hand. cess alone can remove the danger and the shame which would result from giving up the objeCt. that it is to circumstances. engaged without the possi.[ 59 J friends have blunted theirs. But hatred. why is friendship lesi persevering than animosity? The reason is. by making a vain parade of them round the triumphal car• . even the coward sees no salvation but in the exercise of his courage. Friends can so easily attribute to the goodness of their own hearts the excess of their enthusiasm. bility of retreat. is resolved to employ all the resources of desperate situations. those situa· tions from which nations as well as individuals almost always escape j because. we are astonished to find. It may be asked.ceptions to the inconstanry of • public favour. and never to ability. while. there are so many ways in which a man can take credit for abandoning a friend. in the other. that the slightest difficulties are suffi· cient to determine a man to pursue that course. that III .

OiJt the :lggregate of observation which c0115titutes the code of experience. and their COOClIS~ion. by ascribing to him something supernatural which cannot he cOp'. It \\ill not call. a place inferior tu others. ho attains the period of old age. the ra~5:()nS by \\ hich they \\ere produced. can· sidered by public opinion as \\ithin the direc· tion of genius. These oscillatiolls cease with . but. it will not renounce the exer· ci~e of its ll:1derstanding.. Still \\e li.r 60 ] they nre to be ascribed. so short in itseif. are. on whom it fixes. \'. \'. e i:l the midst of them.mger may have compelled the people to deLly tLeir inJu<.. The e\"ents of cbance. sent c. :ient to allow the man. The fee1'ng of a pre.tire. proves that t::e Lie of man. destroys that r-rcsen t happiness \'. to believe and obey him..pared to human faculties.):ich can ha\'e no infll:ence on the jlldg. must uaYe:·s~ ll'any epochs of various or contradicton oPinions. The great man.zer duration thun the judgmellt~ and the aff~aions Of his cotemporarics. In order to guard against such an error.. Admiration is a kind of fanaticism which expects miracles.es preceded the moment of its execution. mCJl t of posterity.. those which noneof the po\\ers of thought can controlll. hich is immediately within our reach. a premature death has somdin. is still of 10:1. nevertheless. it is nece~sary for us to be mouest and just. to re~ .

that it ought to command the tribute it requires. all who. Like the illJagination. dreading the contagion of fatality.on upon reverses. The public delight to heap favours upon him who already POSSCbSCS abundance. the weak. so reverse of fortune drives away the ambItious. he who is desirous of exciting that sentiment. If the reverses of fortune dissolve the charm of enthusiasm. and must owe it to tllC efleets which talents produce. much more than to their real value. if to this be added the defeCts which are often found combined with the most eminent quali. when persecuted by calamily. . it must be struck with external objeCts. imagine that the splendour of glory ought to strike unconsciollsly. abandoned his friend. not from refleCtion. enthusiasm is vanl&hed. must obtain it from surprise. and as admiration is not th3t which every man feels as a necessity. As the Sultan of Arabia. to ex plain them by describing obstacles. that glory is the joint produCtion of the gifts of nature and afchance. with whatever justice. But when it becomes necessary to rea.[ 61 J cognise at once the limits f)f ['"cnius. what mllst be the consequence. a'1'1 its suo periority over ourselves. to excuse them by pleading lllisfortuues. and success is the pageantry of genius. the indifferent: in a word.

[ 62 J ties? What a vast field for the prying curiosity of little minds! How they plume themselve~ upon having foreseen what yet they hardly comprehend! How much more advantageous would have been the measures which they recom· mended! \V hat illumination they derive from the event! How many satisfaCtory recolleCtions they enJoy in criticising the conduCt of another! As none view them with any attention. his 5enills remains to us. And is it really possible? Can opinion be formed of sufrJ:ages like these? Yes. Yet who could believe it? they consider this silence as tht proof of their superiority. nobody thinks them worthy of attack. Real merit is independent of every thing. will you find his glory? The merit of geometricians being only \\ ithin the capacity of their equals to judge. cotemporary glory is submitted to their decision. during his life. for it is characterised by the enthusiasm of the multitude. because a pattie has been lost. • • • • . they consider themselves as the victors. and the disasters of a great man are converted into palms to adorn fools. but the reputation acquired by that merit obtains the name of glory only by the noise of the accla. mations of the multitude. they obtain from a small number of learned men incontestible titles to the admirJ. If the Romans were insensible to the eloquence of Cicero. but w'here.

.ious paision . the sentence of the multitude is impartial. no env. that its movements are natural and spontaneous. may it be said. Whoever requires the sum'age of others. its j III pulse. the complaints of one individual aRea them more powerfully than the silent gr3titude of the great majority. they belong to the imagination. extravagant promises are preferred to prudent services. because men assembled in bodies communicate \I ith each other only' by meaU3 ofthh electricity. however. becausethey are the creatures of passion: quick to feel the emotions of passion. however.C63 ] tion of their cotemporaries. a weakness. For this very reason. that the labQurs of calculation cannot secure him from the accidents of chance. individual. But no. but the . The glory of actions. since it is infi uellced by no personal. Soldiers judge of the merit of their general. They are fickle. has at once placed his life in the power of calculation and of chance. in their estimation. therefore. It is not the wisdom of an. obscures the splendour of a virtue. must be just. a S lIspicion is sufficien t to throw them under the dominion of terror. to such a dpgree. must be popular. and contribute nothing to the common stock but their sentiments. the nation of its minister. and the ac· cidents of chance cannot exempt him from the pains of calculation.

a senti· n~ent springs perfeCt and entire from the soul in which it is felt. The only opinion which the multitude by whom it is adopted displays.general impulse of the whole. "Did there exist but one chance of success against a thOll. But in every age. . that audacity which springs from the consciousness of strength. all that human memory can rC5ct:e from the past I'J One day of glury is s@ . No matter! may some ardent spirits exclaim. but he reigned no longer. It \\<:5 from the nation alone that he receiv. which leads to action. it were better to attempt a career which loses itself in the skies. when the people withdrew their suffrages from the man of genius. and the im possi bility of being suLjeCted to any kind of personal reo sp()nsibili~y. sand probabilities of disappointment. is the injustice of one man exerci!:>ed by the audacity of all. \\ hen he has ce~sed to live. The speCtacle which France has exhibited renders these observations more striking. and which gives to man. and whatever might be his right to wear it. One idea may be compounded of various refleCtions. and this impulse is communicated by the most fanatical of the whole. he might protest. ed his powers j it was by his eleClion that he received his crown. the Illan \\' ho is fond of glory has been subjeCted to the democratical yoke.

I am persuaded that the love of fame performed less benefit to mankind than the simple ill1pulse of obscure virtues: 0 pertievering researches. therefore. and the human race would have remained without benefaCtors if this sub. only in its relation to him by \\ hom rt is felt. the enjoyments of private life are placed in opposition to the splendour of an elevated existence. and the most illustrious aCtions. ference over ha ppiness would he an absolute solecism in morals. dic. that it may be sufficient for a whole life. are often to be found in the history of a life that has continued unknown to fame. The virtllous man makes great sacrifices only to avoid the pain of rcK • .[05 J multiplied by our imagination. however. tated by the spontaneous emotions of tne soul. that the passion for glory ought to be con. By a kind of metaphysical aLstrac. But to give to any thing the pre. In this view. lime emulation had not encouraged their efforts! In early times. sidered. The most noLle of all duties are performed as we traverse the path which leads to glory. It is. tion. it is often said that glory is better than happiness. can only be understood by the help of the accessary ideas which are conneCted with it. This assertion. T he greatest discoveries have been made in the retirement of the man of letters.

rt-li\'Cd cnj": ment can never bel0!1g to the n. But even this "~.[ 66 ] .. then.i. they ollght to be happy. the term of their hopes is known.' Its limits are fixed by no feel:ng. and to secure to himself the internal rel\ ard at' hi!:> own com..~nt \\ Le. to escape from misery..stanee. the pa!:>sion of glOl y. that to speak • l'. bummit or felicity. This passion lives only ill f:c i\:ture.nn of men. It' g:ory . like ewry other [rcling.5 :l ll.. by 110 circuli. af:er b\'ing conql1ered the \\ orld..iol\ \\ hich ill ibelf illlp1iC:. evel1 ambitious men..Oll1el1t stationary. a cOl1tradiclion. .cience. ehu..-norse.i it is c:ttained. and ('ven in the estimation ul' hill] to whom it LC>Jngs. \\ cpt because iie' could not extend evell to the stars the splen. The possession 0\' .fia:ty of space and the eternity of time. Lovers. it possesses only in hope. it is because it seems to aspire to reign over the j. and if it 11.s freql:ently veen adduced as one of the strc:J2'cst proofs of the immortality of the soul. rctchedness is an exprcs~. may at sOllle moments roneei\'e th3t they have attained th. since he \\ill commit suicide.m \\hD aims at glory..m is more necessary to him than life. Alexander.uur of his name. must be Jl1dgcd hy its influence upon happiness. at least.. I'. it falls baek in the O!).'is it is true.. at the nj()JI. A~... In a word.l. the fclici:y of m..

It requires that admiration which is refused. is sufficient to excite vexation and envy. that the cessa· tion of aElion is even the greatest misfortune to be apprehended. the mind is filled only with their expectation. that a 1l10!Jwn t's calm in external objeCts serves only to dired lipan himself all the aElivity of his mind. the rel'usal of a mark of respect even from the obscure. is overthrown when this activity is 110 longer I'll. As the pleasures of glory never contain any thing satisfaCtory.dt'gree cnflames all ib faculties.[ 67 ] it so f'lrcibly 3gitates the soul. If the height of greatness were even attained. . consisting in that aCtivity which it rrejllires every moment. an accidental cir· cUIllstance. (me of its principles. the conqueror of the Jews. hecause no feel. and those whir. to such a.h it obtains. This conquering passion esteems only that by which it is resisted. was miserable because he was unable to bend the stubborn pride of ?\fOl"decai. The Whole power of il1lagination is displayed in it. serve only to bring it nearer to those which it desires. Repose is so distant. ing of the heart serves at intervals to carry it back to reality. its torments multiply. 'When it has attained its ob• jeEl. as the only species superior to that which it has received. p!(l)'rd. because its greatest charm. the void is so near. Haman.

no doubt. is occasioned by contrast. The enjoy. Even physical pain is subJeCl to this law. but none of them leaves so much pain behind it as the di~appointment of glory. be judges only from com parison. To man there is nothing absolute in nature.[ 68 ] All the passions. displays only ingratitude and Q. can be more terrible than the posse3sion or the loss of glory! He whose Ltme once pcrnded the whole world sees notl. the reo turn to the natural state of the mind is a sensation of debasement and death. A Jowr sheds no tears but to the memory of \\ hat he has lost. however. It is not by reason or by melancholy that we are brought back to them. either in pleasure or in pain. to him who once drew the attention of the universe. ments of common life have been witnessed without being felt. But the whole conduCt of men. but by necessity J that fatal power which • . however. net>lec" <T' The passion of glory swells the feelings and the understanding beyond their natural strength. Whatever then is most violent. Far. have common cbarD-fters. and they can no more be found in remembrance. '\That contrast.ing around him but a waste oblivion. from affording pleasure.

I . who de. that we end with self-reproach. . h necessary. the soul may expatiate beyond itself. The man once covered with glory. were de. Th€' part in his minc1 aswming the place which the future occupies. can neither accustom himself 1101' others to consider him in his new situatiun. which hope once painted to his wiew. The life of a celebrated man consists of so many aCtions. • · • • • • . sires to renounce the memory of what he has been. So long as we view only the reproaches which others deserve.• [ 69 J • breaks whatever it bends! One of the characteristics of this protraCted misery is. and to attach himself to private life. which banishes every other desire. Simple ideas are not to be enjoyed uy eiIlJrt. concentrates every thought. and in this kind of pain the volcano closes. In order to taste the happiness they are calculated to afford. lightful. however. Repentance. or so milch force of pride. a combination of circumstances. that it is impossible for him to have so l1luch strength of philosophy. his imagination is broken against that firm settime. and leads him in retrospect through wilds as dreary as the happy fields. as to exempt his own understanding from the reproach of every error. only to consume within.

accustomed to aCtions which history wiii record. munication. sonal topics. because to cherish t hem is honour. to allow them to be considered i" ~onYersltion as mere per. sociations in the mind of ot:lers.Man. LOVE. he no longer relishes existence. He no longer displays those elllo. but a habitual source of pain to him who again has Slink to a private station. when they arc connected with us by public relations. Constant at· tention to our own feelings is a series of enjoyment during prosperity. whose celestial nature alone prevents it from uniting with the whole of human destiny-Love is no longer a blessing that can be enjoyed by him . • tions by which his charaCter was formerly dis· tinguished. but it is too vast to be filled by a single objeCt. but resigns himself to it. In a word. able. the man \\ ho feels it never can sulier himself to confess it in its fullest extent. the reflexions we are led to make upon men in general. render im• • .[ 70 J . Besides. The sorrows of the heart long continue the objeCt of confidential com. can no longer be interested by an ordi· nary life. as they are conneCted with too many as. ~ut as philosophy and pride o~lght to overcome or to conceal the regret occasioned even by the most noble ambition. that blessing.\ ho has long been governed by the passion for glory. It is not that his sOlll has become cal· lous.

the equilibrium of the soul: it hurries it with impetuous violence out of the natural order. at Ol1ce loosen all ties of attachment. while the sonrce of their happiness was thus unveiled: above all.C 71 J possible that kind of illusion which is necessary to sec an individual at an infinite distance from all others. rejects every thing which could supersede the feeling even of his regret. although this passion be pure in its origin. The genius \\ ho can adore and possess glory. So lllallY di~tillgliished names presented themselves to my mind. so many glorious shades seemed to complain that their renown \\as contenll1cd. \\'hile 1 have thus laboured. and generous in its exertion. to display every consideration which call deter from the love of glory. in describing tlre dillcrcllt - . too far from binding men more closely to the advantages thev still have left. I \ . that enthusiasm alillost over· powered me. In a word. to which by no efforts can it afterwards be restored. with a kind of JlIsterity. I have been obliged to employ a great effort of reHecrion. We can only sustain the nlind ill that kind of independence which excludes all comparison between the present and the past. guilt alone deranges. in a greater degree than the love of glory. He prefers death to self-degradation. Great losses.

of all the characters of th~ present time. But. to separate from the mrtives. by \\ hich.-subjectiol1 to the PO\\ e1' of otl. pursuing the plan which I have adopted. he is animated. Were I even to avail myself of the knowledge of his charaCter which my memory might supply. it is not to him that the traits which my piCture exhibits can apply. I should \\ ish to lop a\\ay that which is of the very t ssence of the passiol1s. the desire of the rc\\ ards which cotemporary opinion bestows.'.J 7~ J stages of the brilliant career of glory. it is not my wish to divert the man of genius from diffusing his benefits over the human race. But it is not to that man who bas displayed for the chief object of his affections a sensibility as extraordinary as his genius.: the man who. The celebrated M. it would be to show what important changes the love of virtue can cfleet upon the nature and the misfortunes which belong to the passion for glory. howcYer.. has reaped the greatest portion of glory. and to whom the impartial justice of ages will confirm the posse5sion in its greatest extent. .ers• . Neckar. I feared most that I might sketch out the portrait of my father. I should wish.

are Eat experienced by the ambitious. in that character when it springs from real talents. I understand that passion which has only powerfor its object. A quick feeling for mankind. the possession of places. or of honours. forms no subjeCt of disquietude. that is to say. The SUffrage of stran gel's does not en flame their de. IN speaking of the love of glory. sires.C 73 ] CHAP. tracted and its object being positive. . By ambition. which may conduce to its attainment: a passion which mediocrity may likewise indulge. I have considered it only in its most perfect suhlin~ity. The pains attached to this passion are of a different kind from those which helong to the love of glory. because ordinary talents may obtain the success with which it is attended. of riches. ferings which result from that expansion of soul beyond the proportion which befits the lot of humanity. . the right of can· L - . that is to say. - - OF AMBITION. all the suf. Power. to them. Its horizon being more can. and aspires only to the splendour of fame. II.

( 74 ] trou!ing the external expressions of men's thoughts. The imagination has little S\\uy over the ambitious. every thing. every thing is present. they also present a wide sphere. in which \\ e can elevate ourselves above every thing that surrounds us. thing remains after it has sustained disappointment. for nothing is more real tban the advantages of power. which its career comprehends. In comparing them together. and lose ourselves in futurity. that . no. constitute the objefts which ambitIon obtains. is previously fixed and ascertained. every thing is positive. It in many respects forms a contrast to the love of glory. In ambition. In ambi· tion. and the desire of receiving the incense of praise wherever its authority extends. on the contrary. But if the wanderings of imagination open a vast field for sorro\\'. Its pleasures and its pains are subjeCted to determinate events. pass the con fines of life. Nothing is to be seen beyond the boundary to which it extends. the chapter which I have just finished. and it is by this inflexibility of calculation and this oblivion of the past. The pains then which ari'e from an overheated fancy are unknown to the ambitious. 1 shall naturally be led to furnish some new illustration 0. then.

The ambitious man. He never can aban· don any of its diCtates. sufficiently violent to overcome every obstacle. sions announce. likewise. mated. a contracted selOshness which shuts the soul to other enjoyments. The love of glory may give scope to its feelings.[ 75 J its advantages and its losses ought to be esti. But ambition has only one object. The fire of this passion renders the soul cold and callous. it is morOse and sullen. no longer . and \~hen his feelings were honourable. this passion. This dispOSition supposes a species of contempt fol' the human race. they have conduced to his service. By a very cruel contrast. and which are I. less. The reo sentment.llways experiencEd with much greater violence than their external expres. like all tilOse feelings which are consigned to secrecy hy the judgment which we ourselves form of their nature. have some· times assisted his genius. doubt. To obtain and to preserve power is the whole aim of the am bitious man. renders necessary that contillual reserve which self restraint imposes. It must act with equal force to stimulate and to check. for nature seldom proves a good guide in the career of politics. the enthusiasm of a hero. when he has attained his object. He who values power at so high a price is insensible to every other kind of distinction.

it is. in this respect he is less un~. he feels no personal resources in the possession of its fa\'ours. least the soul might be corroded with the torture of unsatisfied desire. as if Providence. It is of much greater importance.appy. indeed. and superiority would be more inclined than mediocrity toshun the prosecution of its ob. is within the reach of the talents of the majority of men. There is. is certainly more easy to be attained than that of glory. most as rare as genius. It seems. however. when it i~ lost. besides. on the contrary. Ambition. in the actual possession he is con· scious of no void. a kind of philosophical refleCtion which may have some influence even lIpan those who are captivated with the advantages of am bii. in its goodness. The objeCt of ambition. His objeCt is proportioned to his wishes. and as the fate of the ambitious man depends upon a smaller number of individuals than that of the character that cultivates re· 1~0\\l1. too. The latter sentiment is al. had intended that such a passion should never be combined with the im· possibility of its gratification. and it is almost never separated from tllose great talents by which it • is excused. to divert men from the pursuit of ambition than from the love of glory. that power is the nlost • . jects. and as.ion.[ i6 J is agitated by that restless desire which remains after the triumphs of glory.

their emotion· is so live]y. The influence of hope so richly em beJIishes every character. .[ 77 J inauspiciolls of all the relations by which we can be conneCted with a great number of men. The pains which are connecteo with the pursuit of ambition begin with its first steps. form your opinion of them at the moment when they require your assistance. that it is necessary to possess a great share of penetration of mind and pride of soul. to distinguish and to repress the sentiments which your own power inspires. their praises so readily assume the air of independence. they {'CJually impose upon themselves and ujJonyou. what they hope from you. then. throws a veil over' their defects. IfYOll \\ ish. their displays of attachment arc so \'aricd. arc so ingeniously amiable. The perfect knowledge of men must lead us either to throw off their yoh. Those \\ ho are desirous to profit Ly your assistance. or to rule them by our authority. ' \\' hat they expeel. but this illusion of an instant is purchased by a whole life. and the term to \\ hich it leads affords more un mixed enjoyment than the path which you Illl!5t • • . and prompts them to display all their good qualities. that. jn declaring they are attached to you. to !o\'e men.

and in order to suc· ceed in this ohjeCt.ents to second his views.[ 78 ] traverse. \\ auld be fatal: he must arrange with skill the knowledge he possesses. . can there be conceived a more painful situation than that \\ hich arises from the incessant hints which interest gives to self-love? In H. whose judgment may be blinded by praise. He mllst employable ar. In a word.discovers to the ambitious man the principle extent of his talents. Then he is employed chiefly in deceiving others.:ghts with art. but in the shape of desire. he must never lose sight of himself. the part which it is r. fearful of its success. If a man of narrow understanding endeavours to attain an elevated station. He ought to impose upon those who are dependent upon him by the reserve which he main· tains. only as hinting what his discretion conceals. by his pretension to talent. we impose upon oLrselves as to the degree of our own merit: but an active . not as reason to deter • from the attempt. he must constantly avoid every trial by . and deceive. that every thing which he says may be considered. and digest his tho. and his passion opens his eves to his own defeCts. without betraying his defeCts. full of ignorance and vanity. To forget. and attach himself to superiors.ecessary to 8U prort. those from \\ hom he hopes for assistance. for a moment.e ordinary scenes of life.

in the reserve of gravity. he knows that a penetrating mind can detect the starched ignorance. of a frigid heart. he must curb every feeling which could raise any obstacle to. his attention mu. and from the consc. He at once experiences the uneasiness which arises from the trouble he mllst undergo. in the enthusiasm of flattery.[ 79 J which his true value might be ascertained. therefore.t constantly be turned to the recolleCtion of his OWn contraCted abilities. He must repress. The efforts of an ambitious Ulan are constantly employed to display and to preserve the laboured manner of superior talent. his passion demands success. on the contrary. and rliscover. He whose ambition prompts him to . In order to attain his object. his desire. If you suppose. He must not even be deterred by the wounds of remorse which attend the performance of aNions at which conscience revolts. but the constraint which r-resent circulllstances require. the affected animation. an energetic soul. is a source of real pain. harrassed like a criminal who dreads the discovery of his guilt.ousness ot' his own humiliation. that the ambitious man possesses a :iuperior genius. Thus. The dictates of ollr own sentiments cannot be outraged with impunity.

[ 80 ] support in the tribune an opinion which his pride disdains. cation of success. ences a painful feeling. He sustains his own good opinion. that. experi.'e prominent than commentaries. not in the silence of their passions. But if he suffers shipwreck before he gains the haven. who can hardly suppress his real character in the intoxi. he counterfeits the madman. perhaps. who preserves in his own br~ast all the dignified sentiments which accuse his conduct... It is in the canfliEl: of their interests. and what is said upon the theatre is never effaced by \\ lut is written in retirement. ACtions are always n. like Brutus. by the hope that he shall be able to disccver his true sentiments when he has attained his object. which the justice of his mind rejeCts. must be placed in the most painful situation in the moment of calamity. \Vhat then can be a gre3ter calamity than to have acquired a reputation which our true charaCter contraditts ! The man who views himself in the same light which public opinion has sanaioned. • . when. which his humanity condemns. if he is banished. we believe wc penetratc into the real opinions of men.'ould he attempt to explain what were his intentions and his hope. independent even of the refleCtion by which he may be censured or absolved..o. vainly .

is opposed by chance. which moves in a very regular course. 111 a word. and seems intended to diffuse happiness impartially among mankind. The success of the am bitious man. . We have only to open the book of history. the multitude. and the impossibility of fixing its prosperity. as they are dissatisfied with the tickets which they have drawn. The mujority of private intrrrsts is hostile to its permanence. ment. when it is calculated within a certain space.[ 81 J It is from an intimate acquaintance with the traces which ambition leaves in the heart after it experiences reverse. desire to see. the value of private stations raised by the example oC M . Chance in this view con tains nearly an equal probability of success and disappoint. that we are enabled to judge of the extent of the horror which it must • • lIlSplre. to bear down a name too often repeated. tion. to disoover the difficulty of preserving the success \thich ambition attains. and in a very extended applica. composed of obscllre men. too. from time to time. The amLitious man is opposed by the irresistiLle propensity of the pu blic to judge :llld to create anew. to experience the agitation of new sct:nes and new events. Men join in demanding a new lottery.

arise from the continued possess:on of power. vantages of ordinary life. distrust or infatuation. extoll the peaceful ad. or is agitated by disquietude. 1'>'1uch of it is merely apparent. and it is with this that we ought to begin the history of its disappointments.tract arguments which. but.C82 J signal falls. it cost all the distress which the loss would have occasioned. This situation. and the soul \\bich is harrassed with fatigue. Some men have preserved to the end of their life the power they had acquired. nnd. o Eminent situations likewise are forfeited by • the change which they produce upon those by "hom they are occupied. loses that energy necessary to maintain the situation in \\hich it is placed· Here I speak only of the real success of ambi· tion. in which maceration is no less nescescary than the spirit which prompts the acquisition. One is compelled to pursue that system of dissimula. the secrecy which he is . more harrassed by terror than those whose homage he receives. which yields to intoxication or to alarm. demands a COlll1inC!tion of qualities almost impossible. in order to retain it. Haughtiness or sloth. and lend an aCtive force to the abo :. tion which led to the station which he occupies. they were compelled to exert all the efforts it required to secure the first success.

if he continu(s the same behaviour. Another incessantly prostrates himself. portant all established forms. whether king or people. his power is su pposed to be on the decline. having voluntarily abdicated his power. such was the dread they en tertained of a return to a private life. to view as im. If he inspires awe. he gives offence. In a word. the ambitious man is obliged to adopt all the received truths. he mllst anticipate the wishes of the people. Some have pllrcha~d the possession by all the torments of uncertainty and apprehension. In a democracy. peaceably outlived this great resolution. The loss of . and moralists in every sllcceeding age . The step which he took still excites the astonishment of ages.[ 83 J forced to wrap up in his own breast agitates his whole frame. without hoping to derive from the past allY support for the future. no man ever existed who was the peaceable possessor of an eminent station. that Sylla is the only ambitious clJaraCter who. In a monarchy.dignity in the greatest number has been distinguished by a signal fall. to maintain the favour of the master. he must obey their desires while he becomes responsible for the event: he must every day stake his whole fortune. Nevertheless. from whom he derives his power.

at least no ambitious man. is it an undertaking \\hich offers such extraordinary advantages? The Illiut! \\ nich devotes itself to the pleasures of ambition for ever.in peace: the one is a philosopher. of which their situation might be the object. Charles V. DiocIesian may quit a throne. may preserve i t. no man ever descended without regret from a rank which placed him superior to other men. as well as their defeCts. its real source lies in our own feelings. tions. In a word. \\ hen ceasing to reign.ictised the manners of private l. as the subjeCt of their investiga. forw hat is the destiny without the soul by which it is charaCterised? Events are the external appendages of life. they pr. ViRor Amadeus again wished to mount a throne which a distracted irnadiJation had induced him to abandon. Both of them enjoy a crown. absorbed all his attention in the contemplation of death. But though seated upon a throne. the other an epicurean.fe. though there might be a chance of prolonging the possession of the benefits which ~mbition presents. In a word. Charles 11. the object of their ambitious wishes. he thought he had ceased to live. and their good qualities. rendered them absolute strangers to that ambition. renders itself incapable .[ 84 J • have proposed. the solution of this problem.

how can we afterwards consider them as friends? Selfishness is the natural progress of the history of the :. which. and sympathize with his situation? After having ranked all around us oilly as'instruments or all obstacles. Ambition corrupts the heart. is a kind of moral regeneration. we shouid transport our· selves into the place of another. for h. and desperately place himself between victory and death. because it is that failing which admits of no correCtion. and considered every thing only as it afteCtcd ourselves. all invincible proof that it 11so leaves behind it the fewest means of comolation. in its misfortunes. To divert our cares and solicitudes for our.Qul.)w is it possible. bition is that passion. that even its disappointments are impressed with the same air of dignity. [85 J of any other mode of existence.. The love of glory has so much gr:ln8eur in its success. feels most of all)' the necessity of vengeance. and • . that after having rendered every thing subservient to our own views. is the defeCt of age. of Vi hich there are very few examples. He that em• • barks in thc cnterprizes of ambition must burn the vesseL5 which might transport him back to a more tranquil state of life. Melancholy may delight to contemplate them. Am. selves to another objeCt.

lives only in his own eyes and for himself. Some of them are afraid lea5t they err against their own interest. is remembered no more. were the only rewards by which he laboured to be distinguished. this incident. and if he is overpowered by injustice. deprived of power. throw. \Ve refleCt that the h0pe of obtaining immortality by public services. It should seem that by abandoning to negleCt him whose object was the love of glory. too. None cun despise either his efforts or his object. and the best cbance of happine~s Which his retirement • .till retains his personal valour and his appeal to posterity.[ 86 J the pity they inspire preserves that respeCtful charaCter \\ hich serves to support the great man to whom it is extended. that the crown which fame bestows. by renouncing their share of the benefits which it was his ohject to confer. The public has won by his bad fortune. and has lost: such is the history of his life. the in- justice likewise senes to afford some consolation to the regret of disappointment. He has staked all upon 1. But the ambitious man. for the advantages he possessed are now placed within the reach and restored to the hopes of all. In a very short time. He :. men ex pose themsel ves to the danger of personal loss. and the triumph of his rivals is the only lively sensation which his retreat inspires.

[ 87 ] affords. 01' if shame still induces a few friends to remain. but the places. the world. ellcroach lIpon the interests of all. The glory of a great man dilfuses far around a brilliant lustre ovel' those to whom he is . r~lated. they press around you. so many personal regrets recur to thcil' minds. The pleasures . when they are taken away. on account of the share \\ hich they had in his enjoy men ts. Bya cruel combination. however. The most cruel losses are those which at once overthrow the sYstem • and alicd l'very incident of life.\if' bthind them no right to esteem. no longer remembers your past existence. The palms of genius follow thcil' conqueror at a respectful dist:1I1rc. Even he himself cannot banish the painful reflections by which he is hauntecl.lJCnt. that they incessantly reproach the nlan who is stripped of uJl. all the ties with which you were bound to society are broken. and those who mingle in your society can never divest themselves of the recollection of what you have been. and as they le:J. The gifts of fortune are displayed about your person. is the facility with which the obj~ct is allowed "to sink into oblivion. in whose estimation you wish to be viewed with importance. the honours which the ambitious lIIan distributes every mO.

It is impulse rather than force.I [ 88 J which glory affords. But the passion of ambition. the means necessary to success in the objeCts it pursues. It is a sentiment in its nature hostile to the past. hich leads to the con tem plation of our former I . The possession of places and of honours. The ambitious man has never valued dignity of charaC1er above the advantage~ of power. It is a kind of ardour which cannot be supported on its own resources. The lover of glory has a conscience. that if their highest theatre of aCtion is withQut us. gualities sO supereminent are required. on the other hand. thinly scattered in the course of fate. yet they still can supply materials for reflection in the silence of retreat. though this sentiment renders a man much less independent than attachment to virtue. epochs in the revolution of a number of years. their loss must be felt every moment of life. and as no price appears too extra· vagant to purchase the acquisitioll. to reflection. accustom the mind to endure long intervals between the moments of happiness. when it is gone it leaves behind it no consolation. to every thing v. and this is pride. In order to love and to possess glory. being a habitual advantage. are useless for any other pnrpose. it secures us from servitude to others. if it does not confer upon us the empire of ourselves.

Opinion. too. it ought to be regulated by the extent of the miser}' by which it is solicited. or to rejeCt every thing that would diminish its • own dignity. to gratify the pleasure they feel in dwelling upon the last shadow of the past. COll)pletes its misery by refusing sympathy. It wishes either to possess it entire. for pity ought to . The passion of glory cannot be deceived in its objeCt. is unjust. Cardinal Alberoni wished to domineer in the little republic of Lucca. and even hum. of ambition are of such a nature. But ambition condescends to llccept the first. setting ridicule and contemptat defiance. the calamities. bles itself toeach degree. the second. that the strongest characters have never found in their own breasts a power sufficient to enable them to support their weight. which he had chosen as the place of' his retreat. the third place. We see old men drag along with them to court the disquietudcs with which they are agitated. In a word.sacrifices of disappointed ambition. while it blames the . in the order of credit and power.be guided by other motives than esteem.[ 89 ] and present situation. from the horror which it feels at the idea of being absolutely deprived N . This refusal.

new motives to sh un all poUtical passions. the cotemporaries of the French revolu. in their o\\n hearts. no longer exists. or satisfy. Is it not possible. and to communicate the happiness they may afford only to a few mo. the authors. Performing an a5tive part in the events which OCGur. may it be said. :Means of acquiring power remain. which di. to live as happily after having occupied high stations. tion must find. If these general considerations are sufficient to convey a just idea of the influence of ambition upon happiness. tors. as before they were obtained? No: a feeble effort \-.ill never be effectual to carry you back to the poin~ from which it first enabled you to mow. In the moments of re\'olution. than when you first began to ascend. ments of our existence. or even delude its desires. instead of judging. the specta.[ !JO ] of all that can cro\vn. it is ambition alone which can obtain success. they ar· .· tributes glory. and the re-action will throw you farther back. but opinion. The people command. It is the great and the cruel character of the pas· ::ions. to tinge the \\ hole of life with the violence of their operations.

which. at the period of revolutions. the social order establishes the ascendancy of esteem and of virtue. is no longer acknowledged: every thing is estimated hy its relation to the prevailing passions of the moment. .conclusions of judgment. of no limits. the impartial power. who yields to ambition. are the weapons of warfare. then. not the . Yet what ambition! what horrible sacrifices does it exact! what a woeful reward does it promise! A revolution suspends every po\\er but that of force. What is great andjl:st.[ 91 J range themselves upon one side or other. is no where to be fouod. is the fil11aticism of certain ideas. mlist ever olltstri p the impulse which men's minds have received j it is a rapid descent in which it is impossible to stop. The l1lan. In the midst of revolution. The kind of moral influence which they admit. being susceptible of no modification. Perhaps even no voice will communicate a faithful report to posterity. Strangers have no means of ascertaining the esteem they ought to confer lIpon that conduct which all the spe c9ators have condemned. no other guides can lead with safety to its conclusion. The nation then consists only of com batants. Revolutions set all men at variance with their physical resourres. called THE PUBLIC. abstractly. either the impulse of ambition or the dictates of conscience must be obeyed.

and pushes forward. yOll art'! m:mgled by the fall.ie than to interfere in circumstances which are altogether independent of the passions of an indi\"idual. which follows behil. t:<:ted onwards by the crowd. The reverses and the SUCCEsses of a]1 those ""I'om \l"e see performing a distinguished part in a revolution.[ 92 ] If you leap down from the chariot. and the least reo tro~ade movement proves the ruin of him who attempts it. and different means would have prod uced the same effect The name of Chief denotes only tRe person who is precipi. are nothing more than the fortllna~e or unfortunate coincidence of such men • .au. Nothing can be more fran.d. You must guide your c()ur~e along the path which is encomrJssed with destruction. they imagine that they act. without preventing the consequence at which he recoiled. is more btal than to brave it openly. and yet they are but like a stone' projected forwards by the tllrning of the great II heel. Another might have occu· pied the . it is to resign the whole moral rectitlide of our conduct to the guidance of a material power. that they are the causes which produce certain errects . To shun the danger.e place. Men imagine that their infllience is felt in rc'.olutions. It is to risk much greater evils than the 103s of life.

It is • . it is composed of men who are unwilling to obey. rOlls only of power. When they know that you are inviolably attached to particular principles of morality. • In order to obtain. it is necessary to disobey the dictates botb of the heart and of the understanding. tates greatly at the sacrifice of character. the faCtiun in its essence is demogogical . and ambition never hesi. rather than the object at which it originally aimed. Whatever party you espollse. and who do not consider themselves bound to those by whom they are commanded. The latter are desi. who feel themselves necesRary. for it is pOII·er I\hich a faction endeavours to obtain. in order to preserve a few moments of power in the course of a revolution. and the fanatics alone retain the fac.C93 J with the particular state of things. A triumph may be obtained by adopting measures directly opposite to those which were projeCted. if the same party continues to govern. in order to govern men to a certain extcnt. In such times. they mllst not possess any certain rules by which to calculate before-hand the conduct you will observe. they prepare to attack you in the path which you must pursue. tious in the same course. There is no fac1ious OIall \\ho can truly predict what measures he will pursue to-morrow.

A pf'ople who govern. not in clemency. The n1an. because they are aCtuated only by feelings of their own interest. that they are sensi LIe of thei r power. must keep alive the. but he must minister to the hideous sacrifices which it requires. and prone. He must immo. Crimes of every description. They dread pity. it is in fury. they view the fallen still as objects of alarm. natural or political It is of more consequence to leaders that they should not be suspeCted by their soldiers. crimes \\ holly useless to the success of the cause. \\ hom no interest leaos him to fear. courage of the multitude by his inflexible cruelty. never cease to be undel" the influence of fear: they imagine themselves every moment on the point of losing their authority. whatever be the degree of its force. He feels not the panic terrors which spring from ignorance. from their situation. than that they should be dreaded by their enemies. they never feel for the van· quished that interest which oppressed weakness is calculated to inspire. are dictated by the ferocious enthusiasm of the populace. then. late victims. to the emotions of envy. and by no anterior motives of subordination. whom his character often prompts him to . who wishes to obtain a great influence in these times of crisis.[ 91 ] composed of men disposed to choose new chiefs every day.

sions of men are so violently deranred in the moment of revolution. Alas! and \\ hata re\\ ard for such eHorts ! What kind of suffrage does he thus procure! How tyrannical is the gratitude which bestows the crown of re\\ard! He sees so well the limi:s of his power. :ire in the crowd that sur· rounds you.[ 95 J save.lJld the transport that raises )'OIJ . that no illusion is pas. To-morrow may be the day when it shall ha pren." This event is never removed at a great dis. the pas. tance from the ambitious man. even of atro· city. without the excuse of :seduction. when viewing the crowd whose suI'. he says. . and none of whose passions his enlightened soul can adopt. he feels sa often that he ooeys under the appearance of command. Like Cromwell. were they follow ing me to the gallows. sible. of madnes~. \\ bose orders he cannut foresee. He must commit crimes. that which the acclamations of a whole people inspire. can no more be renewed with pleasure to him who has seen that people in the movements of a revolution. youra:ssassins. by the command of a sovereign. • frages he enjoys: "They would applaud in the same manner. and the most magically delightful of all emotions. Your judges.

A character is cecided with a shout. has plunged himself into the scenes of a revolution! Cromwell remained a suc· cessful usurper. and plunges you still deeper in the obscurity of Jour lall. Lut did not lead men to spurn every yoke. But woe be to the man who. is the extravagant excess of all ideas of liherty.( 96 J to distinCtion becomes the very impul5e which precipitates your overthrow. because it was a feeling of superstition which induced a change of masters. and reproach him with the guilt in order to absolve themselves from the charge. fond of power. recognize the crimes which they have forced him to commit. which prompts to insurreCtion without discharging from obedience. \Vhen the cause of revolutions. and the people. but those who dif· fer in their opinions in your favour. whrll they abandon the ambitious man. for the first time. because the principle of the troubles he fomented was religion. agree in the expression of contempt. what rapidity in the fall. Diversity of opinions prevents any claim to glory from being confirmed. how profound the abyss! Although success may not have raised you higher. By what dangers are you menaced. however. reverse swo:eps you lower than you stood before. it is impos~ble that the first leaders of the inS\1f • .

o . they n1ay gratify their opinion. They are doomed to excite the movement hy which they are to be the first overwhelmed. in a revolution. I II a word. fanaticism is even more sober than ambition. .[ 97 J reWon should preserve their power. They are fated to develope the principles hy which they are to be condemned. terest. and. but never their in.

it lives upon the altai of the two olher passions. is dependent upon that which has nc. on the can· trary. either in itself or in others j it 'ur. jeCt. but most com· monly vanity gains the ascendant oVer every lither passion in the breast of him who expe• • . by this abjeCt feeling.all the sufferings which it is calculated to produce. sues apparent advantages and fleeting effects. hut when we observe the violence of the movements which it inspires. l\mbition is conneCted with e\ery thing that i~ most substantial and positive ill the mutual reo lations of human beillgs. it associates itself to their empire. Vanity. we recognize the chao racteristics of the passions. we should be tempted to doubt that it is. Man is hurried into extremes by his weakness or by his strength. sometillles. men are de· graded. and discover in the servile dependence on every thing around them. I T is common to ask whethel' vanity be a pas. sian? To consider the insufficiency of its ob. however. m. into which. The love of glory is founded upon the most elevated principles in the nature of man. real value.CHAP. OF VANIT\'.

The public. is to find in itself at once the cause of its suf. The importal1l'e of the ob. ever. Never. He wishes to be thought superior to the gratifications which he obtains. is its power publicly recognized by him who submits to its sway. and allmankind having agreed to despise this sentiment. while the person whom it governs remains uncon. depreciate the possession by em· bittering it:. ferings. ments. because those \\ ho feel it:. how. as well as to those which are denied. and remarking his exertions. to the opinion . smart keep it ['ecret.[ 100 ] rienres its influence. loss. One of the first vexations incident to vanity. Ollr feeling is in proportion to the violence of the desire. the regrets or the fears of which it is the objeCt are never avo\\ ed. jeCt to which we aspire does not determine t"he degree of grief which the privation of it occasions. "Vanity feeds upon a success not sufficiently exalted to admit of dignity in its disappoint. scious of its existence. disdaining his object. and the necessity of concealing them. at least. ambition. above all. Glory. Vanity sometimes prevails. challenge their proper appellations. The pains wbich attend this passion are but little knOl~n.

It is not only to the association of men in communities • to which this feeling owes its rise. instead of displaying a . your sources of af. He is conscious of this. - Have you ever been in company with Da· man? He is a person of obscure birth. But. and men in a rude state would be unable to rom prehend how dist/'esses so profound could spring from emo· tions so unnecessary.• [ 101 J which others have formed of the intenseness of our wishes. but to a de. rather than from our own feelings. and the efleCts of \\hich would be almost beyond the conception of a people whose manners and institutions are simple. flicrion are multiplied. the degree of vexation which it is fitted to occasion. gree of civilization which is !lot known in every country. All its movements receive their impulse from external objeCts. The pains which vanity is destined to feel are likewise distinguished by this circlImstance. Nature rejcCls the emotions of vanity. The more the world be· lieves yOll to be distressed.that welearn from others. There is no passion which so much kerps self in view. and he is a\\'are that every LOdy knows it. Lut there is Ilolle which proceeds less from cause5 within our own breast.

perhaps he even suspects e:is to be the casei l:. He protech them. and It is to entertain yon with the subject of the great lords with whom he has passed his life. He becomes confirmed in the habit. ut his aCtive vanity comes in to his relief. All the attention which he receives in company arises from the insignificance: in which he is viewed. he calls them hy their names. while their equals address them by their titles. He would af· fe.llr· . and discovers himself to be a subaltern.~t to drop by accident what he has the most violent inclination to tell. His cunversation consists of parentheses. In wishing to show the .bl. he has but one object in the world. \\ hich) 110\\ ever. that he may not seem to be protected. because no· body has sufficient regarJ for him to check his forwardness. he sinks into excessive familiarity.[ 102 ] contempt of this advantage. cipal points of \\ hat he s'IYs. and the anxiety which people feel to treat his folly with some reserve. In order to \\ear the appearance of ease. for fear of losing the pleasure of laughing at him. are the prin. from his anxiety to avoid the appearance of inferiority. He labours to ap· pear disgusted with every thing which he en· \'ies.-ain man his own a. on grounds of reason and of interest. To whom does he appear in the light in which he wi"hes to be considered? To nobody.

isters of the last century: he accompanies every phrase with a gri nwce. " Your wit. He carries ill his pocket letters from Il. yet he inlagines that he possesses the talent fitted for the offices which he has occupied. He imparts to you in confidence what you find in all the newspapers. which reo late to common affairs. which the majority of a dl':lwing room almost always applaud. He speaks with caution even 01 the mil. rr is an insuperable barrier .' and this name he very readily bestows VPOIl every superior man. • Are you acquainted with Lycpda~? He has grown old in politic~.\ hich we cherish.iuisters and Illell of influence. he may be touched with a momentary agitation.lent. as happens frequently in many other of the passion~. which has no more meaning than his words. \\ithout colleCting the smallest experience. without acquiring any klJowledge of their nature. but his foible is not to be correCted. the principle recovers its activity even \\ it!J()ut any preci~e feeling of hope. We are UII" illing to deterndne upon the sacrifice of any feeliug '. Hope revives every mO':.[ 103 J dity." says he. or rather. but which seem to him proofs of confidence. even from the mortification he has experienced. He shudders at what he calls r a strange head. He has a philippic against wit.

fur you can never say any thing to equal what he will say of himself. speaking of what might precisely be called a • • .' Lycedas. Every kind of pretension is at once combined in his mind. he pays no attention to what you say: he likes much better to hear himself. he imagines himself handsome: his writings sink into obscurity. he ascribes it to a cabal. tute. He is ugly.. and he conceives that he is persecuted: he does not wait for you to praise him. you have no wit. but it does not follow from this that you are capable of governing an empire. before you have asked him a single question. People often found their vanity upon quali. f 'Twas I! 'twas I" again he exclaims. We frequently see men value themselves upon intellectual or external advantages of which they are desti.[ 104 J to success in life. and if you ans\\er him. This enthusiastic egotism converts all his defects into charms. The vain man swells with satisfaction at the view of every thing which has a relation to himself indiscriminately. it is true. Your men of wit have no idea of business. hose opposition does him honour: he is neglected. A person of infinite wit. he tells you what you should think: he speaks to you of himself. ties which they do not possess. In this respect Cleon makes a very conspicuous figure. \.

Va. rt TVbw I see him. nor permit it to verge from the narrow circle in which it is confined. nity and pride render the mind. sibility of loving. Detached from all pleasures that are not personal. in the cultivation of some opinion.[ 105 J . he who is subject to it cannot be tranquil. Man extends his faculties by employing them upon something external. ble atIections. once said.deed when self·love has reached a certain excess. ·proud and vain man. indeed. it is so perfectly sat. has some of the advantages of those modes of worship.love and be lir'e so bapplty togtiber" II. It forms are· source within itself. and this credulity in its own merit. to doubt the opinion of others. and yet within that circle lies a source of misery more abundant than is to he found in any other existence. from all sensi. in some sort. which are founded upon a firm faith. of seeing a happy couple. By concentrating our life. we p . his selJ. that it has no occasion to be uneasy. some attachment. But as vanity is a passion. There can be no object so unproductive as one's self. this selfishness destroys the pos. 1 Jeel somdbing like tbe pleasure. some species of virtue. the interests of which may be more Hluitiplied.isfied with itself. stationary.

having no other source of happincss but the effect \1. that these men. . in order ta ro::ceal from every eyc the secret torments which disappointmen·t or mortification oecasion~. fly upon the trif. This foible of great genius continually recurs in history. if theyacknowlerlge any uneasines'-'.[ 1()6 J concentrate likewi~e our sufferings. But a single reflection overthrows all the authority of these apparent symptoms. Tity. too. since it is the most perfect of all illusions. it can only be that which it is honourable to feel. courageous ilnd firm. in the external appearance of some men.hich no other motive cOllld be a:)le to effect. diminishes his means of enjoyment. are capable of a kind of effort v. ling sucres~ \\ hich they have obtained in puolic affairs. such symptoms of content and ofsecu. We have tie en distinguished aut] Drs value themselves chi. and it is. hO\\ever. In most situations. We see. by rendering himself more accessiHe to the impression of pain. minis.' hich they prod lire 11 pon others. that we should be trll1pted to envy their vanity as the ollly real enjoyment. The vanity of superior men leads them to aspire at distinctions to which they have no right. ha ppiness forms p:-irt of the pageantry of vain men. or. \\ arriors. and he who exists only for himself. .

be chssed \\ itll the others. even in our own eyes. Every thing in them is love or van ity. gradation. men who have posscssed great qualities. 'We blush. eager in the pursuit of petty advantages. as the imagination infbmes all the passions. which is great only in the pain which it occasions. deveJopes all its qualities in the conduCt of women. Vanity takcs tbe lead in every thing in which we are deficient. but on this very accoun t. on the contrary.[ ~07 J • • tel'S. nor so independent. as true pride. Emulation excites our real qualities. and cannot. there is no punishment more cruel than the combination of these two qualities in the same charaRe!". vanity is much more active in the pursuit of success which is doubtful. Vanity orten does lIot extin· guish pride j and as nothing is so slavish as vanity. a:. III a word. even to our own view. we exhibit the speNacle which va~lity presents to an enlightened and elevated soul. When they uesire to maintain more extended or more glittering intercourse than that which the soft and . • This passion. flattered beyond everything with the praise bestowed upon their indilferent writings. We are eager to attain what we despise: we cannot submit to the de. nor C'ln we conquer the desire.d 1I10l'e anxious to be thought to possess tilents Oil which it cannot depend.

for it is to the gifts of nature that they owe their influence. that sentiment which corresponds to their tao lents and to their de5tiny. When they interfere with the objects of pridc and ambition. It i5 in \\on:en. The credifwhich they obtain. therefore. it supposes neither l1~erit nor respect for the person Oil whom it is bestowed. The origin of all women is ceje5tial . r:ll1k. and fortune.lte against . Thc efforts which Illay prove ad\'antageous to 'men of power and of ghry. Women thus exuhper. appear. in a word. and the success which they obtain has the distinctive character of the triumphs of vanity. seldom bestow upon WOmen more than a passing applause. that we must examine its character. can never procure them the consideration VI hich results from extensive power. they strip their charms of all the magic which they po~sess. a kind of triulllph which springs from vanity. ing only a f1ecting and limited existence. 5uch as birth. they endeavour to attain the gr:Jtif:cation which \'anity affords. There are women \\'ho are vain of advantages wLich arc not personal to thcmselves. l'\othing can evince a more complete want of feeling of the dignity of the sex.[ 108 ] lenGer sentimcnts with which they impire those around them are calculated to produce.-the credit of intrigue.

[ 109 ] them the passions of those who otherwise would have no wish but to love them. The only real absurdity in character. that which results from • oppo~ition to the nature of things. however. cle excites. the extent of her mind. \\1 hen they oppose the pro. to. as the great aim of their ext'rtiollS. t~. Such is the Jaw which men have established.re that lively re~entmcnt which an unexpected obsta. The more they are inclined. it will easily be conceived. the disgust \\hich they inspire as women.ey imp. The figure of a woman. form either an obstacle. judge a woman by the advantages or the defeCts of her sex. whatever be the force. the more they are of. fended to see her embrace a destination contrary to her nature. jects. W!:en the part which they . whatever be the importance of the objefls to which she employs her attention. injures their pre· tensions to the business of men. ~ These reflections. If they are old. If they mingle in 'political intrigues in their youth. but to save them from the cala. the ambition of men. or an advantage in the history of her life. their modesty will be brought into suspicion. are not intended to divert women from all seri·· aus occupation. renders their dforts ridiculous. mity of pursuing stich objects.

. They love. then they are hardly worthy of the ephemeral applauses in w hieh the triumphs of vanity consist. they are women. they do not swerve from the path whieh nature has marked Gut. The reason of this unjust and improper judgment is.. and consider them as they' affeCt their own in£. inspires their views. ttichment to him by whom they are conduCted. vVomen are almost never honoured by any kind of claim to superiority. nor permanent. which seems to present a more extensive career. arises from at. hen feeling alone diCtates their opinions. when they wish to direct all events to their own views. Lienee. frequently is unable to carry them be)'ono the height of vanity. and on~ oay may be crowned with a few pall1l~ • . they will perhaps emancipate themselves from the trammels of the common rule. If there be any minds carried away. Chance may sometimes furnish exceptions..[ 110 ] perform in important affairs. and because every panegyric that is not founded upon the basis of utility. their personal interest. either by their character or their talents. that men see no kind of general utility in encouraging the success of women in this career. . But when they labour to perform an active and prominent part. nor universal. Even the distinCtifln of art. is neither profound.

however. when that deiightfuI hope is the only motive of their conduct. more solicitous to form their mind. to promote the happiness of one than to catch the admiration of all. would like\\ ise wish to enjoy the happine. their efforts. and when women I?ursue a course which deprives v . Besides. nothing can effilce in woman the particular features by which her charaCter is distin!! uished. from which even an immortal genius could not save her. But when they aspire at celebrity. even. must al· ways consi~t the fortune of their lite. A woman cannot exist in an insulated state. and the insurmountable weakness at her nature. has placed her ill a constant state of dependence. tions in Euclid. banish that feel.. Glory.s of loving and being beloved. and of her situation in the social order. ing in which. escape the inevitable mi::. \lOuld not furnish her with a sufficient support. under different nallles. The happiness of \\omen is dead to every kind of personal am !lition. they are more anxious to cultivate accomplishment than to present themselves to obsel'vation.ery which will ever attach to their lilte. She who should devote her attention to the delllonstra~ion of the proposi. as well as their success. when they wish to please only to be loved. They wiH not.[m J of glory.

It assumes the form of this pa-ssion. or their ridiculous pretensions. the distinguished success she obtains may be a source of pleasure to him who courts the favour of a celebrated \\oman. the per· son. prostrates himself only before his own '\ork. The criticisms which necessarily succeed praise. in. In a \\ord. but love is more captivated by the qualilies it confers than by those it finds. al. deed. by the glowing colours . on whom the whole world has pro:lOunced an opinion. The imagination may create. dissipate that species ot illusion through which all women should be seen.'hich their souls v. Yet the enthusiasm which this suc· cess inspires is.owever.ere formed. may emcellish. their lively regret.d.\ hich it besto\\s. show that nothing can compensate to them for the destiny for ". but it is in on!er to secure access to the new I . no longer receives any emceilishu~ent from the imagination. even an unknown objefr. :Man vie\\ s with complacency the superiority of his nature.1p0n more frivolous qualities. perhaps. less permanent in its nature than the attachment which is founded :. like Pygmalion. it is from a feeling in which love.[ 112 ] them of that object. if the splendour of a wo· man's celebrity attraCts the homage of admirers. by flattering his self-love. has no share. The real value of the object remain?. r. perhaps. Perhap~.

The talents of a woman.hat they may. flatters herself that she disQ . Sometimes intoxicated by the contend. from folly.. at length discovers that she retaius every individual vy the example of his rivals. or from principle. A beauty. What emotions of jealousy and of hatred do the distinguished success of a \\Oman produce! What vexations are occa ioned by the numberless meallS \\ hich envy takes to perseCllte! The majority of women are against her. and she who seems to be the objeCt of all their :'doration. be .. ho abandon the pursuit may detach those who rellJain. is different.[ us J kind of power which it wishes to please. ing demonstrations of homage which the woman they cultivate receives. but the motive is the same. Tho~e who are for ever precluded from the distinCtions of understandin/!. indeed. filld a thousand ways of attacking them wl~en tbey fall to the ~hare ofa \\oman. in despising the&e d~stinRions.. The language Ill' employ. from rivalship. V.re approach a woman of dhtinguished renown as we do a man in place. always inspire tbem w j th uneasy sensations. the admirers mutually animate the ardour of each other j but in their feelings tbey are clependent upon the conduct of their rivals. T he first \.

would neVi r attain that tranquillity and strength of mind which distinguish the charaCter of such men. \V J~hfs to be tholig ht to have rejec":eJ \\ hat sloe really never romprrhended. to hunt hI' a thoUStl:. but hel' mind would be too violently agitated. should conceive herself elevated to the fame eminence "ith the most distinguisl:ed men. her aclions would be directed bv her illusions. that a woman who. thiaking. ings would be troubled by chimeras.J al'surditics ill her who~e \'vit 311i. Her talents might enlarge.urce~s even of true \vit is not suited io the charafter \\ hich belongs to the fair sex. in her own estimation. after ha\iing obtained" a real superiority. ne\er having had two ideas in her he:ld.arkable fer prllcellce and the corre. ~hollid comider herself raised above hatred.ovc her ll~lIal sterilIty. and. aild \\ho. It is to be considered likewise.. Bel" • understanding might deserve some d::-gree of " . se~ses. Imagi. A woman \\ ho imagines her~elf re· n. are plea~ed to see those attacked who have obtained the distinction. her feel. too. nation would ever be the most vigorous of her Lcu!ties.llatcs and diversifies conversatian. a little aL.-joe.C 11+ J playa with more c.d\-antage the merit she pas. Mothers of families. . with· some rcason~ that the .etness of her D:i:d.

and yet is unable to supply common acjvice for the regulation of personal conduCt. In a word. but derei' e \\ ith regard to particular applications. C115 J glory. and the repost' which befits the destination of their sex. Elizabeth. lead to true general conclusions.. be the obje(~) of desire. i"ect!less of reasoning Great talents. . . After h:\Ving sung the sweetest lessons of morality and of philosophy. we shall find that this effort of their nature was always at the expenee bf their· happiness. by transferring into her writings cor. of that kind of inspiration of mind \\' hich utters oracles to the un iverse. after having Sllb· dued the enemies of England. fell:i viCtim to her passion for the Earl of Essex. tefore entering this career of glory. Sappho precipitated herself from the summit of the Leucadil:ln rock. that for glory they must renounce happiness. and that in this filreer there are few prizes to be obtained whieh tan vic with the most obscure state ofn beloved '\ife I))' a happy mother. If we examine with attention the few women who possess real titles to glory. however~ combined with a passionate imagination. \Vomea of a sensible and pliant temper will ever aflora examples of this extr~lOnJlI1ary lIn ion of elTO~' and of truth. women ought to renec-l. whether the throne of the Cresars or the crown of literary genius.

to exact expressions of sentiment. I h. they reo nounce the distinguishing ch:lracleristic of their sex mare than the female champion. terature.. for it is far better to share in battle the dangers which we love. What ~hall v. in order to satisfy emotions the most fleeting in their na. to require hOlllage lor vanity. The pleasure \\ hich it is the purpose of the assembly to enjoy is lost to her. and doubt ful of her success.\e considered the cO. ject. and desires the most narrow in their ob. for which we see so many WOl1Jen neglc5t the:r feelin!.s and their duties? Ingrossed by ~he iilterest which this inspires. since it is more nearly connected with the hope of being beloved. in the days of chivalry. ture. That agitation which inspires the fair sex with a more natural pretension. that agitation \\ hich inspires women with the desire of pleasing by the charms of their figure. .. however. anxiolls to be thought the finest woman in the assem bly.[ 116 ~ ~ J Ouitting for a moment the examination of Y:l::'ty. presents also the most striking picture of the torments of vanity. Observe a lady at a ball.lsequcnces which rEsult from the sp'endollr of a high reputation.e say. and thus to drain the eternal source. than to mingle in the contests of se1fishness. of those petty pretensions to a miserable success in li.

\\ hich. aad the un nccc. Grace.. the wast trivial llIarks of the . and her constraint. betray her sutIering::.opiuion of the COIllpany \Iith the attention of a moralist and the anxiety of a politician. and wisLilJ. never displays itself but when the llli:1J is at case.1 hen cOlloJence prevails. that supreme charm of Leauty.traiilt obscure lho. the turbulence 01' l\er conv'.[ li7 ] She does not for a moment experience such a sensation. ought only to remind us of the caprices or a child. the countenance is con tLlcted by every pang \V hich self-love occasions.:ry elillrtsshe make::. and '. \\ e sl:o::ld t1:iDk.!. VexatioJl jncreases UpOIl vexdio:l.'rsalion \\ hen that rival is applauded.. In this piCture.::. the emotions which lead to dC5p:lir anti to d ddt's. \Ve very soon discover the change and the vexation which the discovery produces still increascs tile evil II hit>h it is desirous to rep:lir. we rcco1!nize the suf1erings or maturer ngc.. and the objeCl is l'cnuered 1110re remote by the very de~ire of possession. the over atjeJ regard \\ hich she eXj1n:sscs for her. She \\atches the looks. to conceal frolll every eJC the tormcn ts she feds.e auvantages \Ihich \\e possess. and the pains \1 h:ch she takes to conceal it. . her aflettatioll of gaiety at tLc triumph of a rival. lJllcasine'isand con::. too. for it is totally absorbed by her prevailing sentiment.

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of iife. To such a de~ree does the im' - with the atten. portance of the a bjeet increase tion \\ e be,tow upon it, and so much more does the sensation we experience arise from the character it receives than from the objeet by which it is inspired. 'Vho could think it! yet in the greatest event \\ hich evcr agitated the human species, in the revolution of France, we may observe the deve. lopement of this principle, no less striking and com plete than in the ball room, \v here the most fri·;olous claims to distinction display the ef. feets of \"J.lJitv in their warmest colours. This • feeling, so limited in its object, so weak in its spri ,g, that we hesitate to assign it a place amo:ig the pa"sions, this very feeling has been one of the caw:es of the greatest shocks which ever convulsed the universe. I shall not call vanity the motive \\ hich prompted twenty-four millions of men to withdraw the priviieges of two hundred thousand; it was reason which rose against the system; it was Nature that resumed her level. I sldl not even assert that the resistance of the nobility to the revolution was occasioned by vanity. The reign of terror exposed that class to persecution and to sufferings which forbid us to recall the past.

t~tion

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It is in the interior movements of the revoJiltion, ho\\ever, where we may obs'rve the empire of vanity, the desire of ephemeral applause; that rage to lllake a figure, that passion innate ill every Frenchman; of which, compared with tiS, strangers have only a very imperfeCt idea. A great nUlllber of opinions !lave been dictated, only by the desire of surpas~ing the preceding speaker, and obtaining higher applanse than he has received. The adnIission of spectators into the hall of deliberation alone proved suf· ficient to change the dircCfion of the affairs of France. At first, the orators sacrificed, to catch applause, only high floIVn expressions; quickly, principles were yielJcd, decrees "ere proposed, and crimes were approved. By another fatal re.aelien, too, what was at lin,t done only to please the llltdtitude, misled the understanding itself, and the false judgment it dictated required new sacrifices. It was not to gratify sentiments of hatred and of fury that barbarous decrees were intended; it was only to catch a clap from the galleries. This noise intoxicated the speakers, and threw them into that state into which savages are plunged by strong liquors j and the spectators themselveg, \\ ho applauded, wished, by these signs of approbation, to make proselytes of their neigh bOllI'S, illld enjoyed the pleasure of influencing the

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conduCt of their representatives. Doubtless the ascendant of fear at length succeeded to t\Je ecnulation of vanity; but vanity had created this pO\~ er, \\ hieh extinguished for SOllle time;: all the spontaneous nlovements of men. Soon after the reign of terror, we saw vanity spring up anew. The most o!::Jscure individuals boast. ed of haYing been inscribed in the li~t of proscription l\'rost of the Frenchmen you meet either pretend to have performed the most im· portant character, or affirm that nothing which has taken place in France would have happened, if the advice had been accepted \\hich they offered in such a place, at such an hour, on stich an occasion! In a word, in France \\e are sur· rOlll1ded by men who all proclaim themselves the centre of this vast vortex. We are Stlf· Toum~ed by men who would all have preserved France from the evils she has sutfered, had they been appointed to the first offices in the govern. n;cnt; but \\ ho all, from the same sentiment, reru~e to ~cknowledge the ascendant of genius or at virtue. It is an important question for the considera· tion of philosophers and publicists, whether vanity contributes to maintain or to defend lilJerty in a great nation. It certilinly at first occa~ions a variety of olJstacles to the establish.

[ 121 ]
ment of a new government. It is enough that a constitution is frallled by certain men, to induce others to reject it. It is necessary, as ill the case of the constituen t assem bly, to dismiss the founders, in order that the institutions may be adopted; and yet the institutioils perish. if they are not defended by their authors. Envy, which loves to honour itself with the name of distrust, overthrows emulation, banisbes knowledge, cannot support the union of power and of virtue, endeavours to divide in order to op~ pose them to each other, and erects the power of guilt, as the only olle which degrades him who possesses it. But when a long course of calalllity has silenced the passions, when the want of laws is so strongly felt that men are no longer considered but according to the legal power which is entrusted to them; it is possible that then, when it is the general spirit of anation, vanity may contribute to preserve free institutions. As it is hostile to the ascendant of one man, it suppprts the constitutional laws, which, at the expiration of a fixed period of very short duration, return the most powerful nlen to a private condition. It in general supports the wiII of the laws, hecau-e it is an abstract: authority in which everyone has a part, and from which no one can derive glory.
R

( 1~2

J

Vanity is the foe of ambition. It wishes to • o\'erthrow what it cannot obtain. Vanity in~pjres a kind of importance, disseminated tln"ut:h e\er)' cla~s, shared by every individual, which checks the power of glory; as bundles of str1w repel the waves of the sea from the coasts of Holland. In a word, the vanity ~)f all raises • so llJallY obstaclE-s, so many difficulties, in the puUle career or every individual, that after a certain period, the great inconvenience of repuuiics \\ jJ! perhaps no longer exist in France. The hatred, envy, suspicion, all that springs from vanity, \\ III for ever disgust the ambition of place and of politics. Men will no longer unite together, but IroD! Jove to their country, attachment to the cause of humanity; and these generol.s philosophic sentiments render men as illflexible as the la\\s which they areap. pointed to execute. T his hope, perhaps, is a persuaded it is true that chiniera: but I vanity subll its to Jaw, a6 the .means. ofavoiding the personal reputation of particular names; and when its co,stitution is established, preserves a great nation free, and its constitution from the danger of being overthrown uy the usurpation of a single man,

am

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NOTE, _. TO BE
RE~D

BEFORE rHE CHApIER ON LOYL,

Or all the chapters of this \lark, there is none
upon which I cxpet1: so lIIuch critjci~lII as on the present. The other passions having a de. terminate object, afleCt, nearly in the same man. ner, all who experience their influence. The word LOVE awakens in the minds of those who hear it almost as many different ideas as the impressions of which they :)1"C susceptible. A great numoer of men have remained unac. quainted with the love of glory, with ambition, with the spirit of party, &c. Every body ima•. gines he has been in love, and almost evcry body is mistaken in this opinion. The other passions are much morc natural, and consequently more frequent than this, for it is that with which the smallest quantity of selfishness is connel'1ed. This ch:lpter, I shall be told, is of too gloomy cast; the idea of death which it inspires, is

II

iE~epar"-ble

from the piCl:ure of love which it exl:ibits; and yet love embellishes life, love is t::e charm of nature. No: there is no love ill gay produClions; there is no love in the pas. toral nYlllphs. In this opinion women, espe· cially, ought to coincide. It certainly is flat. tering to ple:ise, and thus to exercise on all around. a power that exaCl:s obedience for ourselves alolle; a power which obtains only Yoj~:nt"-ry homage; a power which procures obedience, because others delight to obey; and managing others, even in opposition to their interest, obtains nothing but implicit submis. sion :wd unqlialified deference. But what connection is there between the pertness· of coquetry and the sentiment of love? It is 'hry possible, too, that men may be very much interested, very much amused, particularly by the attachment which beauty inspires, by the hope or the certainty of captivating it; but what conneCtion has this kind of i:npressioll with the sentiment of love? It was my design in this work to treat only of the passions; the ordinary affeCl:ions from \\ hich no profound distress can arise, did not enter into ·my sub. jeCt; and love, when it is a passion, always leads to melancholy. There is something obscure in its impressions, which does not accord with ;aiety. There if> a settled cOllviCtion ill our

It is so rare to mcet with the real heart felt love. Tibullus mingles somewhat of the spirit of madrigal in his voluptuous scenes. because it alone convert~ the inclination into a passion. and Alcyone. that I will venture to say that the allcients had no complete idea of this affection. your eyes retain the impression longer than your heart. that nothing can supply what we have experienred. by destroying the probability. in Ovid. The Italians blend so llluch poetry with their love. Ceyx. and this conviction leads to the thoughts of death. Racine. the letter from La !vieiJIerie. Preux. so sublime in 50 many otlier respects) nJingles frequelltly \j ith the • . which characterise the passion in that romance. iu his tragedies. that painter of loye. even in the happiest moments of love. are almost the only passages in which the sentiment possesses its full force. it is the departure of St. in spite of the mythology which distracts tbe interest. Anacreon is inspired by feeling.• [ 125 ] minds that every thing which succeeds to love is worth nothing. some verses of Dido. PLxdra labours under the yoke of fatality. that almost all the sentiments appear to rOil like piCtures. the death of Juli:I. It is not the first volume of the new Heloise. I have considered in love nothing but the sentiment. because it is distinct from every other illfl uence.

filial piety. &c. Lo\(' alone is represented to us sometimes under t). while they excite the most lively enthusiasm.~rable either from voluptuousness or from phrenzy. that it appears a picture rather than a sentiment. but the beauties borrowed from the ancients.e most rugged characters sometimes so insel). Rousse31l. Pylades • and Orestes. passages of Ossian. are pourtrayed in the true sentiments by which they are characterised. Voltaire. some scenes of German tragedies. \\. is c. Roman piety. a disease rather than a passion of the soul. \\ hich correspond only to the age in which he Ii\ed. Niobe. in his tragedies. friendship combined with 8en"ibility. all the other affections of the heart. we can transport ourselves into the situation of Amenaide. The tragedy of Tancred. the beauties of poetic fancy. then.erter.lculated to draw forth more tears.[ 126 ] movements of passion elaborate expressions. have transfused the most profo:tnd sensibility into love. SOme Engli~h poets. This defect is not to be found in the tradegy of Ph~dra. uo not produce that profound sympathy which arises from a most complete resemblance to ~en timen ts we ourselves may ex perien ceo 'liVe admire the conception of the part of Ph~dra. i\Taternal tenderness. It is of this passion alone that! proposed to speak I h<lve rejected every . in the new Heloise.

I have followed only my own impressions. In writing the present chapter. ed in history or in the world. The matter \\ hich composes the preceding chapters is collected from what I have remark.C 127 J other mode in \\ hich love can llC considered. I have composed rather from 111)' own imagination than from observation. and kindred minds will recognize its justice• • .

\Ve never cease to estimate whatever has a relation to ourselves. have no limits but in our imagination. The declinjng path was seductive. the in. tion gives him. at least. the enjoyments. of living in another. OF LOVE. because it was too .• [ 128 ) CHAP. he has bestow. terests of those we love. the investigations of philosophy. tiny. when we expose our life for the only friend on w hom the choice of our soul has fallen! that moment \\ hen some act of absolute devo. IF the OM~IPOTE~T. who has placed man upon this earth. For some time. of rendering his existence complete. IV. the power of loving with passion. by uniting it to the object he holds dear. seemed to sur· pass them all. are lost in the indescri ba hie emotion of a delicious sentiment. but the qualities. the analysis of thought. the charms. at least. ed uron him. ever intended that he should conceive the idea of a celestial existence. for a few moments of his youth. the limits of human des. an idea of the feeling which oppressed the heart. and the object which even appears below any efforts. Alas! how delightful that moment.

In a word. what he has approved. which we have enjoyed with the beloved object. one single idea is capable of occasioning to man the mO:it perfect felicity s . fanaticism. to feel only in another. the prospect. no fatigue is felt in this inexhausti hIe source of ide~s and of happy emo. the spring. ambition. leaving far behind her the assistance of mere fortitude. The pleasures of tiil' world co~sist in what he has said. and the im pre~siol1 which the sllffra~e of all may produce. and the climate. anticipating the period when the love she cherished for him might subside.• and the amusements he has shared. Glory. Our success is estimated only by the praises he has heard. and. all nature to liS is under different forms.C 129 ] big for expression! A woman in those shocking times which we have lived to Vtitness. which led her to embrace death as an eternal union. nothing interrupts the influence of love. As long as we continlle to see. in this sentiment alone every installt is intoxication. sbe experienced a mixed sentiment of ferocity and tenderness. a woman condemned to death with him she loved.upon him whom alone we are anxious to please. advanced to punishment with joy. tions. was proud to share the fate of her lover. and enthusiasm have their intervals. exulted in the thought of having escaped the tortures of surviving. perhaps.

by combin· ing several different ones together. In this ca!'e.'1 we ough~ to propose. as the highest idea of felicity which can exalt the hope of man. • ~r It is by the assistance of reflection. The distinCTion of their im. This dependence lipan a single ohjeCt so con!plcteJy separates us from the rest of the worlq. the happiness. the comhina.'ak more correCtly.ical existence \\ith the possession of moral ha ppiness. . that \\ e wea kC'll the force of the misery they inflict. The first oLje. or. it is by divesting myself of all the enthusiasm of my youth. that the mind. no doubt. when we consider the fate o[ men. e should avoid all passions. tion of \\ hich has been reckoned a good system of happiness. the destiny of another.:. we cxpDse ourselves to death. is not the prl. from the int:nseness of our own affections. Ir does not follow frorp the principle. that absolute devotion of our being to the ~entiments.llsa J the nllldness of despair. however. to spl. which desires to escape frolll all the . that I inteDd to comider love.'servatiell of their lives. It is even less fatal to resign ourselves entirely to tbe influence of a single passion. Nothing fatigues life like those different interests. that \'. Ii'ortal nature is perceived only when it unites phy.

We enjoy pensive meditation and the sweet emotions of the heart. ~. eludes the exalJlination to which we lIubjecl the objec!.!intg of self-love. . from all that can degrade in the intercourse we maintain with mankind. and the unconstrained glow of feeling. ~lIld in Jhe deepest solitude of life the soul is more ~aive than upon the throne of the Cresars. and the very thought is sufficient to reliev~ you at once frolll remorse and from anxiety. The event frequently turns out so contrary to our expectation. which inspires the soul with the dignity of philosophy. discovers in this passion something solitary and cOilcentred. In a word. We are withdrawn from the world by an interest much more lively than any thing it contains can excite.[ 131 J constfl. prevail upon ourselves to form any decision? The de~ire. every moment in which you .have lived for another is infinitely more delightful th.m those you have passed amid selfish objeCts. how can we . that we repent of the pains to whIch we have suhmitted.' pursue no other • object but our own advantange. as it were. When '!VI. from all the suspicions of calumny. lither 1I1ldertakin~. . But when life is devoted . that we flag in the proseclition pI' our own interest. at whatever period of life you call to mind the sentiment which you have cherished from your youth. as well as of every .

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to the first object of our affeCtion, every thing is 'positive, every thing is ,determinllte, every thing is captivating; Ix 'wisbes it, it is necessary for bim, it ii'ill form all addition fa bis happiness,

tbe efforts v.:e exert may serve to afford bim deligbt a few mOl1u:Il~S of tbe da),. These motives are
sufficient to guide the whole train of our con· duCt; then there is no uncertainty, no discouragement; this single enjoyment of the soul fills its utmost compass, grows as it extends, and proportioning itself to our faculties, secures to us the exercise and the enjoyment of them all. \Vhat superior mind can fail to see in a real feeling of this nature the germ of a greater number of thoughts than in any work which he can either compose or read? The greatest triumph of genius is to de:;cribe pJs. sion: what then must be passion itself? The gratifications of self-love, the utmost extent of personal enjoyment, even glory, what are they to the pleasure of being beloved? Ask any one whether he would prefer to be Amenaide or Voltaire? Ah! all these writers, these great men, these conquerors, struggle to obtain a :;ingle feeling of those exquisite emotions which love diffuses in streams through life. Fear of pain and of struggle are compensated by a single day, a single hour of that del.iriuru which sinks all our existence; and the. sentiment. durA

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ing its whole cantin uance, communicates a train of impressions as lively, and more pure, than the crowning of Voltaire, * or the triumphs of Alexander. All indefinite enjoyments are from c:'xternal objects. If we wish to c:'xperience the vaLue of glory, we must see him we love honoured by its splendour. If we are desirous to appreciate the advantages of fortune, we must have conferred our own on those we love. In a word, if we \\ish to create the gift of lIfe a blessing, the objeCt of our affection must live in our existence, while we must consider ourselves as the support of his happiness. In whatever situation we may be placed by a deep. rooted passion, I can never believe that it misleads us from the path of virtue. Every thing is sacrifice, every thing is indifference to aliI' own gratifications in the exalted attachment of love; selfishness alone degrades. Every thing is goodness, every thing is pity in the heart that truly loves. Inhumanity alone banishes all morality from the heart of man.
,

,

'" In the theatre at Paris, a distinction which dramatic writers somdimcs attained.

succ~ssful

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If there are in the universe two beings united by a perfeCt sentiment of love, and should mar. riage have bound them to each other, every day on their knees let them bless the Supreme Being. Let them look down on the universe and its greatness. Let them view with asto· nishment, let them cherish with anxiety, a hap. piness which so many accid~nts must have concurred to bestow, a happiness which places them at such an infinite distance from the rest of mankind. Yes, let them view their Jot with
some degree of fearful apprehension. Perhaps

that their destiny may not be too far superior to ours, they have already received all the ha p. pi ness which we expeCt in another life. Per· t:aps for them there is no immortality!

During my stay in England, 1 was acquainted with a man of extraordinary merit, who for five and twenty years had been united to a woman worthy of him. One day, when we were taking a walk together, \ve met some people of the class which the English call gypsies, or Bohemians, who wander about in the woods in the most deplorable situation. I lamented theconclition of people who thus were exposed to a com bination of all the physical ills of nature. I f };ot\\ ithstanding these distresses," said 1\11'. L. to me, " if, in order to be united to l:er,

,

C135 J
(pointing to his wife) I had been ohliged to abandon I1lvself to H\is situation, I should have pegged my bread for thirty years, and after all we should then have been happy!" "Oh! yes," exclaimed his wire, " even in that situation we should have been the happiest of beings!" These words are still impressed upon my heart. How delightful that sentiment, which, even in advanced life, inspires a passion perhaps more profound than it excites even in youth, a pas. sian which .colleers in the soul all that time has robbed from the senses, a passion which turns the whole of life into one single retrospeer, and stri ppin g its last stages of aH gloom, un socia. lity, and indifference, secures us the -happiness of meeting death in those arms which sustained ollr youth, and entwined us ill the ardent em• bra res of lovl;'. What! in real life, in the course of human things, can there exist such a degree of happiness, and is the world -in general clelwived of it, and are the circumstances on which it :is founded almost never combined? This com bination is possi bJe, and yet to attain it ourselves, perha ps, is beyond ollr power. There arc kindred hearts; and chance and dis. tance, and nature and society, separate for ever those who would have loved each other through their lives, and the same pall ers COllnCCl: ollr fate with those who are unworthy of liS, \I hose
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hearts are not in unison with ours, or who have ceased to feel the delightful union. In spite of this piaure which I have drawn, it is, nevertheless, certain, that of all the passions, love is the most fatal to the happiness of man. If we had the courage to die, we might venture to indulge the hope of so delightful a fate, but we re~igl1 our minds to the empire of feelings which poison the rest of our life. For some moments we enjoy a happiness which has no correspondence with the ordinary state of life, and we wish to survive its loss. The instina' of self preservation is more power. ful than the en'lotions of despair, and we can· tinue to exist without being able to indulge the hope of recovering in the future what the past has taken from us, without being able to find any reason to abandon our sorrow, either ill the circle of the passions, in the sphere even of a sentiment which, deriving its source in a real principle, can admit of no consolation from refie8ion. None b~t men capable of resolving to commit suicide, can with any shadow of wisdom, venture to explore this grand patrl of happiness. *

'" I am afraid least I be accused of having, in the course of tilis work, spoken of suicide as an act deserving of praise.

[ 137

J

But he who desires to live, and exposes himself to the necessity of retreat; he who desires to live, and yet renounces in any manner the em· pire over his own mind, devotes himself, like a madrilan. to the greatest of misfortunes. . The majority of men, and even a great num. bel' of women, have no idea of this sentiment, such as I have described it ; and there are more people qualified to appreciate the merit of New~ ton than to judge of the real passion of love. A kind of ridicule is attached to what are called romantic sentiments; and those little minds, who assign so much importance to all the details of their self.love or of their in terest, have arro· gated to themselves a superior degree of reason to those whose charaCter hurries them into a dif. ferent kind of selfishness, which society considers with greater indulgence in the man who is occu· pied exclusively with himselt: People of vigorous
••

I have not examined it in the ever respeC1able view of reli. gious principles, but politically. I am persuaded that reo publics ca,nnot forego the sentiment which prompted the llncicnts to commit self-murder; and, in particular situations, passioJlale minds, which resigll themselves to the impulse of their nature, require the projpect of thL resource, th~t t.hey may not b~ driven to depravity in their misfortunes; and still more, perhaps, they requile it during the cf. fO'r1$ they exnt to aroid them.
l'

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understandings consider the lahours of thouglit. the sen-ices dO;le to the human race, as alone de;;erving of the esteem of men. There are some geniuses who are entitled to consider themselves as llseful to their fellow creatures; but how very few can flatter themselves with the posse5~ion of any thing more glorious ti;an to constitute the happiness of another I Severe moralists dread the wanderings of "uch a passion. Alas ~ in ollr days, happy the nation, happy the individuals, that could h018t of men susceptible of the impulse of sensibility! But, indeed, so many fteetingemotions bear a re~emblancc to love, so many attachments of quite a different nature, among women from vanity, among men from youth. take the appearance of thi~ sentiment, that these degraded copies have al. most entirely effaced the remembrance of the real object. In a word, there are certain characters prone to love, who, deeply convinced of the obstacles which oppose the happiness of this passion, which thwart its perfection, and, above all, threaten its permanence; and alarmed at the irritability of their own hearts, and those of others, rejeCt, with courageous reason 2nd timid sensibility, every thing that could excite this passion. From all these causes arise the errors adopted even by philosophers with regard to the real importance of the attach.

that we are never captivated but by tl:e qualities which bespeak a certain resem blance of charaCter and senti. tached the heart. in a word. It unfortunately is not true.mcnt of the heart. as if all hope had v:Jni~hcd. \\ e still love while we cease to esteem. grace. HauntC'd by the opinion we had formed. language. \\ hich we must now renOUllce.ishes. ments. ture. This fatal ray of light darts in. and notbing can equal the despair excited by the certainty of having loved an ob. which. The charms of a seducing figure. In our tor. <lnd the un bounded tortures which those who resign themselves to its guid. that species of advantage which permits the imagination to concC'ive all the beauties by which itis captivated. we cling to . We aCt as if there still were room for hope. hich it v. and to see all the ex pression v. jeCt ullworthy of tis. The grace of manner. and awakens reason before it has de. at first over· looked. the illusioll is complete. ance are accustomed to experience. a8s powerfully upon an attachment \\' hich cannot exist without enthusiasm. frequently arises from something which cannot be explained Such an origin canllot secure either the happiness or the' uuration of a connection. more difficult to be defined than any other charm. Yet when love exists. wit. inspires this sentiment.

. on the contrary.ithollt rendering us capable of amusement. \\' e could \\ ish to persuade ourselves that \\1" are distra{·ted. the inconstancy of the injaginatioll. 'Ye hang upon those ft'atures which once we considered as the emhlems of virtue.h our recolleEi ions. by the \\ant of every tender and profound emotio. T he opinion we are forced to adopt recurs to the moment when we "ere deceived. the image which we ourselves have created. if we are wild in "our paroxysms. the last hope of the \\fetched can no more soften that repentance which agitates and consumes our frame. was in any respect sllch as we had conceived him to be. and renders ~olitude :rightful. which likewise . if the object on whom \\ e had fixed our choice was generous.]. regret is conneCted \lith remorse and melancholy. in order to belie the judgment \\ I" pronounce on the heart of those \\ e loved. and if time. If. We ask if the object on which \\1" doat is of another nature. T he past even no longer exists to cteri. and we are repulsed by something more cruel than hatred. and then the misery we feel is di fJ'lIsed over every moment of We. there has been a single moment of life in which we have bren beloved.v. We call to mind those incidents \\ hich should have opened our eyes.

that he will . which so often' has traced the most sacred oaths of eternal love. how agonizing arc the suffer.1Unicated. long renders it im possi ble to believe that we cease to interest the object of our tenderness. and seemed to recall the fondest recollections. traces in characters. when comparing the lettels which the same hand had written. thrilled through our agitated soul. our eyes can scarcely believe that the dillerent periods at which they were co III posed. ful. whose accents haunted us in solitude. \vitholtt embarrassment. can alone ex plain the difference \ How a~onizillg our sensations. ings which \Ie experience from this overthrow of our scheme of life! How poignant the tor. \\ hen that voice. when that voice speaks to us without elllotion. the crnel intelligence.[ 141 J loosens the attachments of the heart. We seem to experience a sentiment which requires to be conll. that stab to the heart. that when we see. the feelings of the past will revive. \V hen we speak to him. tures of that moment when the hand. that we have ceased to be the objects of alfection! Oh! how p~in. We imagine that we are separated by a barrier independent of his \\ill. other objetl less \\ orthy of his tenderness has deprived It"> of that love on which our whole existence depended. witholtt betraying the slightest movement of the heart! Alas! the passion we stilI f~el. or if an.

\V hich have once completely unbosomed themselves. bted. ward sign of \'oe must challenge the attention of pity. but those which once vibrated in concert to them are annihi. yet we know that he is happy far from us. we imagine that hearts. while a thousand duties. We must for ever forego the sight of him whose presence would renew our remem· brance of the past. What consolation can the world afford to grief like this? The courage of selfsl. we imagine that notliing can renew the impulse which we alone possess the secret of bestowing. Despair is rooted in our hearts. cannot cease to cherish the ancient union. and no out. "Ve are condemned to wander over the scenes in \\ hich he loved us. Alone in secret. while pride itself imposes the necessity of concealment. that he is happy with the object least calculated to bring back the recolleCtion of us. to attest the change which all the rest has undergone.[ 14~ J again yield to the tenderness he once expe. rienced. over those scenes that remain unaltered. and \\' hose conversation would render it still more poignant. T he cords of sympathy remain in our hearts. our whole being is changed from life to death.lUghter ! But in this situation e\-en t he aid of this terrible act is stripped of that consolation which it • .

Love is not the only ingre. Jealousy. that specle~ of immortality. It repents of the past. regret inspires only the wish to die! Jealousy is a more painful situation. is for ever torn from her who nO longer hopes that her death call Jd inspire regret. because it is composed of conflicting sensations. or to engage the remembrance of the objet1 by whom we are betrayed i and to leave him in the possession of her whom he prefers. as if this idea would haunt us even in its fiilen t retreat. Jealousy inspires the thirst of vengeance.its of self love.. able onTy \\ hen it sinks into melancholy. because it is discontented '\ith itself. to oe unable either to affliCt. inspires a sen· ~ation of anguish which extends beyond the grave. that passion. • . and the pain it occasions is support. It is indeed a most cruel death. even \\hen it is not excited by love. The hope of exciting the interest of others when we are no more. to punish. render~ the soul frantic. when all the atfet1ions of the heart are combined with the most acute resentme. The OlffcCt .on5 \\ hich urge to aCtivity in misfortune increase the sufferings we endure by ever.. dient of jealousy) as it is of the regret we feel when we cease to be loved.C143 J sometimes is supposed to bestow. it preys upon itself. in its nature terrible.

There is another calamity which the mind shudders to contcmplate. no doubt. instead of triumphant. in dif. even when they are fatal. tions which blend pride and tenderness are the most cruel of alL The feelin gs of tenderness v. ferent dt'grees. 100uis of a suhlime virtue have ex perienced in themselves invincible struggles. The affec. ~ Compared with the sufferings which senti. It is thllS. and this is tile violent 105s of the objeCt we love. that terrible ~epara. The pain we feel is not conneCted with the most secret sources of th~ heart. l\evertheless. It may recur to external objeCts. . and utter our complaints. hich may disturb the union of hC:lrts arc of ilJferior im portance. ho experience its influence. we SUITer. Clementina may be fcund in relll life the viCtim of her pas· sian. poisons the sweets with which the sorrows of the heart are accompanied.C1440 ] movement we make to shun them. but we can Loth dwell \\ ith pleasure on the cause. and the bitterness \\ hich it inspires. hich we ex perience weaken the spring and elasticity of pride. the external circumstances .'. n~ent occasion". th:lt love overt!iJ'C1wS the happiness of those \'. \Vhen we are separated by a bstacles {('feign to reci procal sen timen t.

ge. Strength.[ 145 ] tion which daily threatens every thing that breathes. and to reproach him with the agitation of that heart which the touch of his beloved hand never more shall warm! The observations I have made apply almost equally to the two sexes. every thing that lives under the empire of·death.e of time which no morc brings back his delightful society. weloe beloved.qer all formed for its domiijio.J ? What! could we exH in a world which he no longer ill!:ai. nius. to recall in • vain that being who was the half of our sOill. Alas! this sorrolV. which admits no limits. courage.its.e . It remains for me to consider what relates pecuIiJrly to liS. him who inspired that lave which ani. mates a chara. 0 woo men! ye viCtims of that temple in which yOll are said to be adored. the obje'5J: we had chosen as ti. endure the lap. listen to me! Nature and society have disinherited one half of the human species. to hear in imagination that voice whose last accents were direCted to us. independence. to live Oll the memory of the part gOlle without return. is the most formidable of all How could we survive the objeCt by whom we . and if V . all belong to men.tay of our life.

-c 146 J they surround our youthful years with their homage. every thing depends upon the conduct which women in this conneCtion observe. S<:arcely can the interest of love ex. according to the opinion of an unjust world. certain that they cannot compel us to obey. a thousand degrade themselvelO below their sex. it is to procure the amusement of overturning our empire. honour. In speaking or vanitv. Reputation. It is true. hind when its existence is already finished. e\"(~n the love of glory. They can p:lSS for virtuous. tend·to the half of life. when they quit its proper sphere. that very few of them tum their attention to these objects. while even the laws of morality. seem suspended in the intercourse of men with the fair sex. the love which they inspire gives to women a momentary absolute power. that for one who rises superior. in the course even of the passion itself. The history of the life of women is an episode in that of men. that their destiny resumes its inevitable • empIre. Ambi. esteem. are 50 little suited to their nature. thirty years remain be. but it is in the whole system of life. t:on. They aCt just as we do when \\e permit children to command. Love is the sole passion of women. although they have caused . I have observed.

without the dread of ridicule. ment as would bind to each other two friends. if she did not feel its force. In a word. and which would disgrace the party who "hould prove himself capable of forgetting them. that delicacy of principle in the attachments of the heart. It is not perfe~tly true. and that it ceases to exist. it requires no aid from the former. \II hich a woman would conceive herself obliged to affect. one additional gift. nourable exception to the observation. by imputing all to love. that there are very few who could dare to profess. It may be said that the tie of duty is of little importance to confirm the force of sentiment. tIVO companions in arms. that in the • morals of the human heart attachment ill • . when it mllst rely upon the support of duty. but such is the general opinion in this repect. that while the latter continues. and disengage themselves from t he obligation. although they may have de. No dO!lbt there are men whose charaClel' forms an ho. they may have received fr0111 a woman such marks of attach. They may have reo ceived these from a woman. They may pass for honest. however. as if one feeling. ceived the fair sex.[ 147 J the most cruel plins which human power can _produce in the soul of another. diminished the value of all the rest.

women are bOllnd hy the sym. This circumstance i" an o~)stacle to the perm:mcnce of attachment 011 the side of the men. . ho\\ ever. dence renders a pernjanent attachment almost impossible. the imagination requires to be.elhing of po\\erful tie.. and if tbese intervals were not filled I:p by son. To agitate and to interest the heart. cannot produce this effeCt upon thooe \\ ho imagine that the past has no right over the future.cnt by \\hich souls are united would often le entirely dissolved. In a word... There may be many in :erva[s in the course of a p3ssioll when a sen"e of morality secures those tirs "liich the wanderings of imagination might relax. but a complete indepen. but wit h men these ties are not so sacred. upon those \\ ho do not admi t gratitude to be in sonfe l1~easure the firm harrier which p. In. tlie a:tarhn. the memory of former scenes are sometimes necessar. for where the heart recognizes no duty. The remembrance of former • interesting eyell ts. tion is concerned there are ebbs and flows of kindness and of feeling. dissoluble ties present obstacles to the free choice of the heart. In every thing ill \\ hich the imagina. pathies of tlie heart.[ 148 ] never strengthened by duty.'events the fluctuation of taste from becoming capricioll& change.

the men call rely upon the fidelity of women from causes different from the opinion they entt'rt<\in of their warm sen~ibili(y.onfidence which indolence loves so much. thi~ t.cess of their attachment. Women.[ 14~ J agitated. because they esteem them. the more he covets obstacles to rouse his aCtivity. and fondly reo sign themselves to his protection. that women who love without re!'>erve. and on which he wishes to rear his happiness. aCtivity and force delight to encounter obstacles. In the vario~ls and opposite sOtirces of pleasure. Indolence is pleased to indulge itself. tbell) whiGh. while. They rely upon their lidelity. because they are aware that the iIll pulse which promrJts them to court the support of the man they love) is occasioned by motives distinCt from the mere passion which they feel. at the same time. From this fatal disposition it often happens. and lose the a bjecl: of their passion by the ex. This certainty. the more that nature has done to promote his success. declining an authority which has no real foundation. On the contrary. often is repUlsive to vigorous minds. seek a master. man wishes to combine. If they rely upon their beauty fOl' the perJ manence of their lover's attachment) they may easily be disappointed. at length disgust instead of pleasin g. Beauty has no certalll .

at first the only sensation of which the • J mind is conscious.orse and shame when she ceases to be beloved. Pride. traAt by their Rplendour. at last. The surrender of herself. nion have intimately conneCted \\ ith love. till the \'Ioman. and his heart is cured by the contempt for her which he feels. arc inclined to admire those they love. Self-love. As \\ omen. inspires ren. too. The \\oman who •proves faithless to her lover. The passion itself gives the wound. degrades herself in his estimation by the infidelity she commiJs. hesitates in the choice between the elIlIui of a common urderstanding and the arrogance of superior enCOWl1ients. but they ultimately repel alI who do not rise to the same eminence. The charms of a new face may break the fiweetest ties by \'1 hich the heart is bound. The advantages of an elevated mind and distinguished powers may for a time at.love pours into it the poison.• [ 150 ] superIority. aggravates the sufferings which love infliCls. which general opi.hO\\ever. which society. in the case of women. is scarce! I' affeBed in the intercourse of men with the fair sex. in the eyes of a woman so precious a gift. but self. seel<s relief from other re- . when the grief which infidelity excites. the men are fond of displaying to their mistresses the superiority of their talents.

some who expe· rience a prodigiolls difference in the intercourse they maintain with men. Such wonlen are alike unacquain ted \\ ith love and with virtue. when [01:'sakel1. spair when they turn their eyes to futurity.. Men who are the viClims. who alone ought to be accounted the sex. women. tion. they experience. Their life is blackened by a misery which has no limits. of incon· stancy are consoled by the hopes of the future. they can neither renounce a sentiment. multiply the sources of their misery. The affeClions of their heart are rarely renewed by new objeCls. Some sink into degrada. however. and scarce even reo • . when they have been betrayed by the guide to whom they trusted. are. Meanwhile men command armies or gorcrn em pires. nor open their hearts to love. There may be women whose hearts have lost all sense of delicacy. no end. There. and the collateral disadvantages which. no cessation. the miseries of which they have experienced. C151 J flections. ill some way or other. In· valved in the mazes of error. on the contrary. All bear.fatal stamp of wretchedness. by which they have been so cruelly tormented. among those women. others seck relief in a sentiment more allied to enthusia~tic devotion than calm virtue. the. are plunged into de.

In a word. The circumstance of their connection muy be guite blotted out from their memory. while the permanence of the sentiment is the basis on which the hap. ship retains more impression lIpon their hearts than the most ardent passion.Onsolation. un\! the passion \\ hich. while the woman who possessed their affection is Goomed to pine over the fatal ~ecollection. t1:erefore. \\'omen ought to dread. But • . because they lo\'e. ment by which their peace is destroyed. Remain in the c:Jrrer of virtue.[ J52 J ~ co11eCl: the name of her whom they have Call' si£ned to misel'I'. and terminate in an attach. • 0. the smallest feelin 0' of friend. piness (If the woman depenr. within its sphere yotl will be secured by impregnable bulwarks. may atrract their sympathy. ill fated mortals! ye whose hearts are delicately sensible to this passion! you expose yourselves defenceless in a contest where the men appear armed at every point. in tl:e heart of another. cit once the sentiment \\ hich maya: ise in ti:eir own minds. The imaginatiol) of men has gained a complete triumph in gaining the heart of a \\oman . 1\Ien have but m. while the regret which she endures admits of no \.e ohjeCl: in love. ful n: otec:ion: within its sphere you \\ ill enjoy the surest safeguards.s. mea are loved. continue under its power. ~.

[ ISS J if yO'. The woman who has been so fortunate tis to meet with a lover \~hose activity of mind is connected with sensibility. and by the hope with which it is ever accompanied. still more imperiollsly than the laws of mall. Re• signing the hope of their affeCtion. she has children to rear. has fixed theil' destinv. A mother possesses that sublime 5en· timent which is rewarded by the pleasure it bestows. that tbey witt poison yonI' happiness for ever. th.1 resign yourselves to the passion of love. to grati~y a llceting passion. and who combines honour with good. who is faithful when no ties of public opinion fortify his fidelity. x . and who places the true enjoyment of love in const:ll1cy. lllllst we enter the lists as their rivals. ness of heart. The woman who is the only favou- . has obtained a felicity with which nothing can compare. recollect . Nature.:t they can ?:overn their OWll hearts. und tempt their hatred because we must forego their love r A woman has duties to perform.hat m~n are not fettered by pll blic opinion. It is not by declining that station which so. Ciety has assigned them that women can escape misery. a man who cannot endure the thought of rendering a human being wretched.

which. But since. there are moments in which virtue is offended. and shoot its hranches to the sky! . and leaves. self on having escaped their influence? Who would compare the tranquillity with which the sacrifice of them is attended with the regret of disappointed hope? How bitterly must a woman ree:ret that she has ever loved. that she has ever experienced that desolating sentiment. blasts the stem. after the age of the passions is gone. even in the course of such an attachment. the tree which ought to spread its blossoms to the air. ~ parches the flower.C154 J rite or such a man may enjoy a happiness which sets all systems of reason at defiance. like the burning sands of Africa. would not congratulate her. a withered trunk. where is the woman who.

as there is more independence. indeed. I proceed to speak of a kind of passions which condemn man to the yoke of selfish and ignoble sensations. they subjeCt us to a gross instina.( 155 ] CHAP. AFTER having discussed that fatal and su. if we rely upon fortune. from the regard. V. and expose to an equal chance of disappointment with more elevated desires. These passions ought not to be ranged in the class of those which are supported by some internal feelings. Nothing. can be more repugnant to the pleasures which • arise from the govern ment of ourselves than subjeCtion to selfish desires. In this situation. . OF GAHlNG. blime sentiment \\ hich conneCts the happiness or misery of our life with a single object. these degrad. AVARICt. In this view. from the sentiments of mal)kind. &c. however. there ought to be more happiness. we expect nothing from opinion. Nevertheless. DRUNKEN'NESS. ing propensities bestow no real enjoyment.

They . :lS it were. we must be fond of money. which springs from ourselves. ti:e oaly thing. Libertines. \\birh constitutes the enjoyment of all the passions.ellts of the soul.d the secone! aV:lrice.ile the ouly advantage of these phy. and even the • sel. gnmesters.:ght. let us eXilu. tl. these two principles of the ra~ciolls.sh prtof ~helll cannot be s:ltisned hut in . The fir~t produces the lo\'e of •::::aIJling.ol11e relation \Iith others.'. the necessity of being excited.e s~ntiu. a.! ion. The elementary cause. In spite of the disgl.[ IS6 j In the::e low passions we may discover the chao racter of moral alfe.tinct material existence.. to be addicted to iCaming.is is by no 1I.. antL rett. are sulject to t\\O kinds of illlpulsej selfhlmes.rns to ourselves again.. wl. a kind of di. degenerated in to physical impulse. to the anim:l! part of man the ascendant over every other part ot his nature.. misers. hO\lever.. and the necessity of being excited. crr"te. h011 ever. perbaps. consists ill the desire and the pleasure \\ hich the emotions of .st which such a subject inspires. AI· • thoug h \i e "lIouId be led at fi rst to S\l ppose that.ical passions con~ists ill the agitation \\ hich suspends fee1!ng and tho. and gives.ine.. drunkards.. :md celnshlless. In m('ral pass:ons.eans the source of this ext:'a\':lgant propen~ity. we cannot 1:e in: erested hut bv ti.

the soul. confounding every thiilg. the burdensome feeling of life. a6i'a~jo:l COUld he a durnhle state of mind. In the moment of emotion. when excited. and the lilliits of the present and of the future recede or vaaish before ollr eyes. . There are. nothing hut hope and fcar are heard. the boundaries of nature are removed. destroys the reality of all around us. the very magnitude ot' the danger is a pleasure during the continuance of the action. plunge into an intoxication. no dou bt. jlldf:meut is silenced. In the tumult and ra pid succession of the sensations which occupy the mind in a state of violent agitation. de~irous to esrape from that common enemy. and if this emotion and thi. ve. things the most extraordinary appear po~sible. and in the third part of this \lork I shall endeavour to prove it. It. which the man II' ho governs himself always possesses. But the great mass of passion::lc beings. while we see it :ldvancing. which. is a very painful sensation to dread the approach of danger. beotow..-y fell philnsophers would hesit:lte to agree th3t it II auld Lc the sovereign good. lIsrful and constarlt distractions. The only good II !lich we dMovcr in life is something which produce":lIl o~livi\1:\ of ex'stence. We experience something agreeable in the indulgence of the reveries into which we are thrown. It is a kind of torture when we are at ease.

This state of mind sometimes becomes so ne.C 158 J . and those innumerable armies which cover the surface of the earth. What a melancholy charaCter of k.mpelled to deviate from the natural course of human life. that we see seafaring people volulltarily traverse the ocean to court the a6i~at:on of those dangers fr0111 which they have escaped• The great game of glory is difficult of access. They stake the fortune by which they subsist. arc • • .man des. The agitation of the mind is a deceitful feeling. tiny! What invincible proof of the wretchedness of Ollr lot. in which to cease to think is happiness. They rush into battle. cessary to those \Vh:> experience it. or wounds not less dreadful. to find that we are . to gain some~hing of an instantaneous existence. however painful the sensation may be at the moment the stake is hazarded. to intoxicate the faculties by which we judge of its value! The restlessness of individuals dis. Gaming. hich many men abandon themselves without refleCting upon the-state which succeeds. and all to be freed from refleCtion and from prudooce. is a kind of enjoyment. or rather a kind of intoxication. to \. a green cloth and a pair of dice furnish a substi· tute. where death. threaten them. turbs the whole world.

But. tain some suspension of habitual ideas. because gaming is a material image of all the sentiments which the greatest circumstances call forth. It ii much more insupportable for a gamester to cease to play than to lose his money.( 159 J the cruel inventions by which soldiers. generals. If we could succeed in conneCting the moral nature with the physical system. kings. Whatever establishes analogies and resem· blances is a proof of the truth of a general system. the 'l'rhole universe with one chain of thought. plains the love of play. we - . and to excite that emotion which enables us to endure the burden of existence. there is nothing more painful than the state of mind which succeeds the emotion of which we have spoken. independently of all we sacrifice and all we hazard for the chance ofsuch an enjoyment. and the love of glory in its turn ex. Thus the love of play assists us to form an idea of the love of glory.. The vacuum it leaves behind it is a greater evil than the privation of the object in the pursuit of which we were agitated. or to ob. The Ian· guage applied to the other passions is often borrowed from this. and statesmen endeavour to find in life something which nature has withheld.

\\ ithout comidcrillg tLat it is liOt only frol11 the uatIlre of the yoke. how· ever.ey ha\e disCOVLTcd th:. There arc men. t~. \\ bile the pO"l'er of enjoying them depends upon our"e!ves. \\ hich cuts' uff protl a<:ted expeCtation. by dirdting all their pursuits to themselves.at they \\ jll sacrifice the present no less than the most elevated virtue. Others. and we throw off some of our selfishness by gratifying it with externalohjeCts. ciety of other s. they illlagin~ that. ith mankind.oice and from disposition. yet refuse to taste it. from cl. out from entire dependence upon bimself. To love lIloney. that is. Pleasures of every kind must lead us to the so. tl. is to consider it as means not as an end. The sel- • . :i\Jisfrs are so fearful of the future. avarice is that which gives the most scope to selfishness. ness in agitation.d the mystery of the Divinity. Of all the passiuns. attach themselves to the gratification of selfishness. :I\Tost men. then.[ 160 ] should almost have unveile. \\ ho consider wealth as a mean of purchasing enjoyment.' secret oi' happiness. Discontented with their relations and \'. in a rapid sensation. that the misery of man arises. again. endeavour to seek happi. in order to attain some c bject.

when their aCtions follow constantly their se~sations.- [ 161 J fishness of such men is so great. something so repUlsive in the feeUngs they experience. and their sensations their actions: they must kno\\' positively the poor reward of their aCtivity y . without admitting some intermediate being between the object and themselves? There is so much uncertainty in what they desire. How difficult to imagine a life which is wholly wrapped up in ourselves! How can men choose themselves as the objeCl: of their passion. I shall not dwell upon the miseries which avarice occasions. that wc can hardly conceive how men can have the courage to aCt. Every part of it is equally vile and miserable. As all those sentiments to which the charact~r of passion belongs devour even the object to which they are direCted. It loves itself so much to-morrow. no shades in this singular passion. We can discover no degrees. The idea of this extravagant selfishness is almost inconceivable. ~~ld avarice denies all the advantages which money can procure. that it daily deprives itself of every thing which can throw a charm on the day which succeeds. that at last it sacrifices itself to itself. selfishness de· strays the comfort which it wishes to preserve.

After hav. and take the trouble to live. tions in his soul which inflic1 the sharpest mi. produce those ravages and revolu. it is true. \\ ben they know nobody will grieve \\ hen they die? u If the miser. do not. while i: is in the free and constant exercise of this self governmtnt that repose and happiness consist. while they di. sery it is possible to experience. by giving a turn of selfi>.:r. poisons life. The affeCtions of the Lcar~add to the value (. The suffering. Every thing sel. they feel a kind of rage \'. there is a particular kind of 'ITete heel nes.sell1sb •passions are as much a slanr)' as those whieh render us dependent uron others. occasioned by low propen~ities} however. In a \\oro. They render it equally difficult for us to acquire the government of ourselves. .. if the selfish.. How can men exist \\ ithout lJein g useful.hen thty see the period of their existence approaching. [ 162 J and the real YUlue of their efforts. are capable of these reflecting intervals.. The pa<csions which degrade man. fish.flife. incidcn t to such charaAers from "hich they cannot escape. und em bitters its termination.10'.'.ng sacrificed their present comfort to tlleir future prospect. admit .hness to all his sensations. the Litterness of death. c '. mini!. They fear death as if they could enjoy life.

t9 reflect upon the different causes of our misery. There is something cold in our whole frame. \V e are wrctched. a sentiment of perfect solitude. There is nothing in the past. Nothing in adver~ity can be more wretched than to feel that wc cannot contemplate our own situation as truly deserving of interest. and yet feel no sym pathy in our own breast. without daring. rive aid from our own minds. nothing around us. The disgust with which they inspire others extends even to the person in whom they exi~t. to mitigate our suffering. nothing in the future. We are unhappy. without the support of any great retrospect on which misery can dwell with complacency. and the impressions of grief are soothed by no consolatory reflections. • • .[ 163 J of no consolation. but without being able to de.

The man who is a viCtim to this disposition sees in the world many more subjects of envy than really exist. Of this number and description are ENVY and REVENGE. promises no enjoyments. recting it. They exert an infl uence upon life without di. VI. To be at once happy and superior is his objeCT. These passions seem to be composed of the wrecks of all the other passions when disappointed. Envy is a principle) the objeCt of which is some ENVY . and the value of his situation must be ascertained by the envy which it inspires.[ 165 J CHAP. T HERE are passions which have no precise objeCt: and yet embrace a great part of life. OF ENVY AND REVENGE. not even those which terminare in misery. and we often sacrifice happiness to their negative power. It is not their character to dazzle us with the sweet illusions of hope and of futurity j they only seek the gratification of that fierce sentiment which they inspire.

and haunt· ed by the image which inspires its torture. because it is not connetled \\ ith any enthusiasm. however. Poets have exercised their fancy in dhiplaying in every point of view. that faculty which is inseparablefrom passion. and under various aspeCts. and the effeCts it produces augment its inveteracy. The passion of envy has no limits. is fastidious. any hope amidst misfortunes. and it exercises the power of imagination. soon inspires an irritation which may give a pretence to that hatred which at first was unjust. It never cools. upon one single distressing idea. we should be led to think that every occurrence which takes place is calculated to afford enjoyment to envy. the miseries of envy. can find nothing to bestow consolation! Manifold as are the evils of life.. because it has no end. How lamentable. to the wretchd. indeed.C166 J torment. This passion. and never thinks the calamities \\ hich happen sufficient to administer en· tire satisfaCtion. It feed~ only upon its own venomous nature. that passion which feeds upon itself. The man who hates another without cause. the envious man still detests and pines. If there remains any consolation in misery. To feed his hatred" he discovers in everysituatioll advantages which the wretched themselves do .

[ 167 ] not feel. he is jealous or what he immolates. those who employ this de· struEtive power. duces does not bestow a happine~s adequate to his wishes: every day chance or nature raise up new enemies against him. in his fortune. genius. are sure to triumph. those who thwart. To remove the cause of his sufferings. on the contrary. he feels himself iuferior to what he de~troys. In a word. his happiness. . are assailed and broken down by this destructive power. in a word. Those who blame. the enviolls man mllst be superior. he feels that no torments can equal the cold and blasting influence of his ruling passion. he is humbled. virtue. In vain he pursues them with unrelenting malice: his success brings him 110 joy. those who oppose. It limits the efforts und checks the flights of human nature. and yet. eveu in his Oll'll estiIIllltion . beyond all competition. and prefer the equality of Hell to the division of ranks in Heaven. envy derives its source from that terrible senti· ment of the human mind by which men detest to see the happiness they do not enjoy. Its influence is supreme. his talents. Glory. But the mischief which the envious man pro. and this torment is encreascd Lj' every "Hort lie makes to escape from tl~e scourge.

that we can with difficulty at first sustain the idea that the person that has plunged l:S into despair i~ happy.[ 168 J There is another passien. and more formidable in the present times than at any other. in its gratifica.sion. by positive happiness cannot be doubted. which lead to a culpable objeCt. and the hap- . the sentiment of pity conjures 11p the SUfferings which it prompts to reo line. This ohjeJ: haunts the mind. It is certain. by a contrary process."c\. experienced the feelings of revenge. as it owes its birth to some misery which is mitigated when it is extended to the cause from which it springs. Reason is particubrIy intended to oppose those involuntary movements. in the same manner as. tion. for reflection is no less natural than the impulse of pa:. This passion is REVENGE. It springs direCtly fr0111 justice. That it is attended.e1'. That this passion is natural. The contrast of our misery. hO\'. the fury of which is terrible. though its effec1s are often so repugnant to this principle. at some period 0: his life. There is not a man \\ ho has not. renders its consequences neither le~s ferniciolls nor less criminal. To do to others the evil they have done to us. at first appears an equitable maxim.

renders it more violent than before. find that revenge. The activity which the feeling of resentment employs. produce a violent agitation of the spirits. sorrow remains alone. • In misfortune too it is extremely painful to ~ndllre the prevalent or exclusive attention which a single idea Obtains. with no idea but that of pain. If we observe a generous and feeling heart. we shall. by gratifying these emotions. beguiles sorrow. By reo venge we place our enemy upon a kind of equality with ourselves. instead of allaying misery. After having inflicted vengeance. We relieve him from the weight of our contempti we are brought nearer to the level by the very act of punishing.• [ 169 J piness of our enemy. If the effort we employ to revenge ourselves proves ~ z ' . and re. we imagine that. we escape from all those which would have suc· ceeded. however. it seems as if the situation of OUf mind we'c changed.entment or indignation at guilt bring at first the most prominent features in the sorrow which we feel. the effort we exert to subdue it. every thing that stimulates to action. fill the mind in a variety of ways. In action. Every thing which carries our thoughts to external objeCts..

vated principles with great faults j and the very meaning of words is changed by the accessory ideas which their example inspires. than the execrated villains whose aCtions have encreased the horror \\hich guilt inspires. not only that it can never confer happi.ing it give way to their sublime intentions. that it is much more rare to inflict ven· geance. and this they know too well. have done more mischief by the latitude they have gi\'en to the idea of virtue. our enemy then possesses that ad.[ 170 ] abortive. vantage over us.. Every kind of error is excusable under real grief. and those great men. fer. and mak. what· ever motives incite us to revenge. never fail to con. They have combined ele. but they should also remember. that no political scourge can be more formidable. be their object what it may. from the sensibility of our feelings than from the spirit of party or from self. tion.love. . Generous minds. but that revenge is greatly allied to culpable emotions is proved by this considera. who claimed the right of dispensing with a law of morality. The same terIi1S express the assassination of C~sar and' of Henry IV. which impotent attempts. ness. have done a prodigious injury to the dignity of morality. those who are tempted to yield to its impulse should never forE'et. that have yielded to crimi. nal passio11S. In a word.

[ 171 J This passion is calculated to perpetuate the calamity which the original offence occasions. if their oppo~lents inspire this emotion. and during those periods when the madness of party hurries men. ment may prevent violent men from proceeding to certain excesses. tions. and yet we never sufficiently :wail ourselves of self-knowledge. in the strictest sense. serve as a guide to those who mingle in the great contests of men. and of themselves.evolutions never terminate till every individual ~eases to be agitated by the necessity of preventing or avoiding the eflects of revenge. tional obstacles may arrest their purpose. Unfortunately the nature of man is displayed even in the villain. are irritated. of reason. But passionate men. even to the end of the human race. as they always weigh circumstances. which is. in order the . and in this opinion we betray our ignorance of the nature of the impulse. even by fear. such dangers. r. When men are coolly criminal. such addi. There is one reflection which ought to. \Ve flatter ourselves that the fear of punish. beyond the bounds of virtue. \V ho rush headlong into revolu. that they ought to COIlsider their enemies as of tbeir own nature. Fear stimulates instead of repressing impetuous characters.

O:1 proportion as new even ts create new divisions. to pu. and with a common consent. the ambition which it excites. and the spirit of pnrty. ana yet we know that sinliJar proceedings wsuld produce. to humble. among the Romans. whtre despotism not Gcing employed to restrain the mass. in a country where every individual exerts the whole force of his pers')nal charaCter.\ hkh may be reo pressed. that private enemies served togeth~T. The love of their countr)'. nish. individuals \\il1 come to hate all other individuals. it is revenge. \\e n>l. there will not. giving way. If revenge is not proscribed by public spirit. every man has a particular value and importance.'d to each ether. duce more occasions on which men are epp051. and pro.[ 172 ] better to divine the views of others. was so greatly superior to every oti1er pas"ion. piness. If there be any passion destructive to the hap.s!asm which liberty inspires. \Ve say it is necessary to constrain. alter:t certain time. the interests of the republic. a single man be found. and even" the existence of free countries. who . give a stronger impulse to human character.slder our enem:es as a physical force. and ourselves as mond beings that can be governed only by our own wiil. . The entl!!. on our minds. only the most ir· reconcilrable animosity.

France can only be saved by means of this mutual forgiveness. if the French name. if animosity would cease to renew revolutions. who must feel. those who are attached to a benignant climate and a fertile soil. Surely France. loudly im plore the salvation of }'rance• • . all who wish to live. then. Surely this would be a heroic oblivion. we are com pelled to hope that it will succeed. the admirers of genius. might display the fairest example which can be conceived of foregoing revenge. to en crease the stock of their ideas. that though aware of its as. all who can think. but it is so extremely necessary. would rally all tho~e who are not too criminal to permit their own hearts to form the idea of pardon. from pride and from patriotism.( 173 ] does not feel motives to detest successively all those with whom he has been acquainted in the course of his life. th~ lovers of the arts. or to cherish tlH:ir sensation. tonishing difficulty. and the partizans of Ii berty.

It is the only one which does not display its power equally in all times and in all countries. in all its force j it does not constitute that devouring infl uence which consumes generations and empires. VII. in their utmost extent. upon literature. This sentiment must be developed by a kind of fermentatioll. all the motives of enthusiasm and of animosity. it may perish with them before any occasion has ever occurred to call it into aCtion. in which the imagination can find. OF THE SPIRIT OF PARTY. Though the germ of it exist in the minds of a great number of men. and to prove its existence. It does not exist. occasioned by some extraordinary events. Any trifling quarrels. but amidst great contentions.[ 175 ] CHAP. . in order to be acquainted with the full force of this passion. however. such as disputes upon music. may furnish some slight idea or the nature of the spirit of party. WE Inust have witnessed some political or religious revolution.

We bave seen obscure men. which attaches a man to the opinion which he maintains. if he had imagined that this expedient could contribute to the triumph of the opinion he sup.ler of the spirit of party. fear. without any hope of being known.[ 176 J First of all. Indeed. that the two propensities 1my soF~etimes be placed in contr. it inspires fanaticism.ve. M. to serve the cause which they had em· braced. It diilers fr0111 the latter so widely. without canfidi!lg to any o:. A much greater number of n~eJl mingle in political contests. \\hat in the world can be more violent and more blind than these two sentiments? During the ages that were distracted Ly reli. because in objeCts of this nature all the passions com bine with the .Jise of tbe spirit of party: but this passion by itself is more ardent. emulation.. revenge. de Concorret. that he would have disavowed and openly attacked it. employ all their efforts" brave all dangers.e the secret of his exertions. hact precise'y the c1~aral. without any idea of glory. a man of various celebrity. gious quarrels.~t. ported.. Hi~ friends declare. we ought to distinguish the spirit of p:::rty lrom self· i. and prescribes the law to every man on whom it Iuys its influence. assume the disgi. Pride. that he would have written against his own opinion.

whether they passionately espouse or attack old errors. • . and for any objeCt what· ever. \\ hen he adopts a truth with the spirit of party. in the ordinary class. as \veIl as the worship of prejudices. because his . and now arc Aristo. becomes a superstition. turns t\~o party men either into enemies or associates. or the chance of the first direction. These are credulous spirits. exists only in a certain number of men. In the - • . in every age. and it is the difference of situations. The same defeets lead to contrary excesses. and range themselves on the one side or the other. What is called philosophy. who at first embraced the cause of principles. loses ~he faculty of reasonin g. which. in order to allow their judgment and their character to rep?se.C177 J spirit of party. who would have been Catholics or Protestants in the fifteenth century.understanding could not descend to respect abo surd prejudices. Pure fanaticism. as well as the :>upporter of error. compels them to settle in the extremes of all ideas. when enflUllled to an extraordinary pitch. The man of eulightened mind. however. and very SOOll employs similar means in its defence. crats or Jacobins. without any check. and their violence.

even to gain their objeCt more . This remark must be considered as a natural consequence of the same principle.C 178 J same manner as we have seen atheism preached up with the intolerance of superstition. It seizes upon the mind like a kind of dicta· tm'ship. . the path to be pursued is prescribed as the end that must be attained. and. the choice of their means: they will not consent to modify them. Under this yoke while it continues. are unalterable even in . men are less unhappy than when the other passions preserve their uncontrouled sway. of reason. in the course of the French revolution. the spirit of party prescribes liberty with the fury of despotism. were equally positive in their opinions. . The passions bring men to a state of mutual resemblance. and of sentiment. adopted a system of conduct equally intolerant. that Aristocrats andJacobins held the same language. under the inti uence of this passion. according to the difference of their situations. and of all the passions. which silences every other authority of the understanding. as a fever throws different constitutions into the same situation. It has often been said. the most uniform in its effects is the spirit of party. Men. In this state.

must triumph only by evidence and by force. if they had allowed men more moderate than themselves to speak: but they preferred losing their cause. to gaining it. • In the Constituent Assemhly.[ 179 J securely. an article of faith. A triumph gained by a compromise is a defeat to the spirit of party. because this calise. I proceed to illustrate tHis idea by examples. the members of the right side of the Hall might have carried some of the decrees in which they were interested. When the Constitutionalists contended against the Jacobins. if they had advised the King to put himself in their hands. The means must be suited to the cause. appearing to be truth itself. if the Aristocrats had adopted the system of the former. as well as the end. . are more able. lowing its defence to be conducted by a speaker who was not quite of their opinion in several other respeCts. byal. The leaders. But the disciples make the mode. by committing it to the support of the Abbe Maury. because they"are less enthusiastic. they might then have overthrown the common enemy. as in religious parties.

however. by activity at elections.otives of prudence. The more the spirit of party if. to the: partizan3 of tho: 6 . men upon w hom the fate of Franre \\ as to de· ~ pen d.. to recognizing any of the principles of the revolution.[ 180 ] without losing the hope of one day ridding themseh'es of their allies.y of ti.~ prtient constitution of hunce.e roy:Jim !'l t:. Ci"::lts might have influemed the choice of tl:e . they preferred e" posing it to the) oke of a number of abandoned men.~ C . however. men prefer falEn£r.. ~ "\Yhen. '~-··o"s •• ~.e election.~li~ts whiC~j ha\'c b~cn disco\'crcd. sincere.:au~e ~o endeavour to sway i_"'~. Tile spirit of p:lrty. to a triulllph in cunjunClion . the Aristo. The activi.' gave that preponderance to the coun~::r-re. it is recomm~1:d~:.1. ing in the Primary Assemblies. • . en -c. the less disposed it is to admit of conciliation or . tj~eir ovcrti1row.\ ith an •v of them.nely threatened to UVCf- throll t.'>' The purity of a dogma is deemed of more im portance than the sucees" of the cause. c. seems ~t last to h:l\·e gi. if they can involve their enemies in .'oliJ:ionaryparty which l.".l ' t ... In the spirit of party.y to . by vot. 111 all th~ plans o{ th~ ro •:.l.

deprives it of its intellectual attri• • Illites. by admitting the strength of their opponents. in a party men render thelllselves suspeCled by r~ason ing. revenge can even de. lay or change its mode of proceeding: but the spirit or party is like the blind movements of nature. What exam pIes have the popular party in France furnished of this uncomplying spirit. nor comprehend. Thisil11pulsc. They neither un·· derstand. nor see. tospeak to men who precipitately follow the course of their opinion.111 d \\'hen these shafts have been exhalisted with· . in order to take advantage of all. rection.[ 181 J compromise of any kind. As it would be ttl entertain doubts of the praClical efficacy of our religion. as it were. . as \\ ell as in the whole of their general system! How often have they rejected every thing that had the smallest appearance of a modification! Ambition can accommodate itself to every particular cifcumstallce. It is like a shock against some physical force. once comOlunicatel! to the mind. to have recourse to art for its establishment. \Vith two or three argul1lents they meet every ol~jeCljon . by making the least sacrifice to secure the greatest victory. is seized with an impenetrability which. which always proceed in the same di. in every detail.

by a sin. The spirit of party unites men together by the attraction of a common animosity. but not by esteem or cordial attachment. The great qualities of a man. they seem to think that no human con· fraternity exists with him. gular code. of those who agree with us in opinion . and that the service he has rendered is an accidental circumstance. who does not profess the 6ame political religion with them. and if. Party men are less gratified by what a mall does for them than by what he does for the cause. this passion establishes relations of attachment and of gratitude only among persons who profess the same opinion. To have saved your life is much less considerable merit in your eyes than to belor:g to the same party.[ 18~ J out effect. they have nothing left but recourse • to persecutIOn. cannot be appreciated by adversaries. The limits of this opinion form also the limits of their duties. in their room. which must be \\holly separated from the individual by whom it was performed. in some respects. even the crimes. and. The faults. guishes the affections which exist in the soul. It extin. they receive assistance from a man who adheres to a ditferent party from their's. ties founded only on points of opinion. in order to substitute.

mitted by the spirit of party itself. its first charaCter is. was conceived by the ferocious ambition of Robespierre. even in doing wrong.[ 183 J do nof detach us from them. and experiences neither the fear nor the remorse illsepa. and one prevailing idea swallows up all the rest.onal to the individual whom it governs. rable from selfish passions. There is no passion which must tend more to hurry men into every species of crimes than party spirit. This monstrous idea was even ad. • The spirit of party has no remorse. The depopulation of France. and the end of this passion not being per:. he conceives that. for this very reason. raCter of this passion is. that it can • repent of no sacrifice when so great an end is to be obtained. withoat being considered as assas· • . he devotes himself meritoriously. passions. culpable even in the estimation of him who ach under their influence. and executed by the baseness of his objects. that it considers its object so superior to every thing that exists. to annihilate every thing which does not coalesce with itself. The great chao . he preserves the sentiment of virtue. In committing crimes. and men have si1id. that he who is under its influence is really intoxicated.

z.[ 184 J sins. The former attach themselves more to men. have never for a moment despaired of the triumph of their opinion. The former are more imp!Jcable. The Jacobins and the AristOGrats. without particular application to the French revolution. • There are.tllat of the innovators more able.es those who labour to establish new principles. but also by the security which it produces. that of the latter more aCtive. The animosity of the former is more profound. not only on account of the extravagant courage which it can inspire.. however. since the commencement of the revo. .. some general shades which. cc that there were two millions of men too many in France. hich the most superstitious credulity could hardly have believed. and amidst the defeats \\ hich the Aristocrats have so constantly sustained. lution. there \\as something bigotted in the certainty with \vhich they proclaimed ne\\s . the latter more sanguinary." The spirit of party is exempt from fear. from the spirit of party which charaCtuj. The spirit of party peculiar to the former is more sincere. the inno\'ators to things. . The . distingui:lh that spirit of party which belongs to those who defend an· cient prejudices.

an impetuous exertion. without reo fleCtion. Jnd more to be feared fr0111 the opposItion of their enemies. \\ hich the spirit of party renders wholly unnecessary. of excepting. It sees but one idea. The same thing holds in morals with that impUlse of thought. in order to conneCt with it every thing which it meets. and eager only to advance. of bahll1cing. which. which does not depend upon the nature of its objeCt. while the latter destroy upon calculation j and thus there is less to be hoped from the partizans of ancient prejudices. into the 1110st opposite opinions.[ 185 J former consider their adversaries as impious men. which requires no restraint. The spirit of party is a kind of phrenzy of the soul. It never proves any sacrifice to the spirit of pa~·ty to forego personal advantages) the extent 2 B . There is a degree of fatigue in the action of comparing. prodnces a physical sensation very lively and very intoxicating. liberated from all ties. precipitates. In spite of these dilferences. of modifying. \'iolent budily exercises. the latter consider them as obstacles j so that the former detest from sentiment. and is blind to every thing that cannot be conjoined with it. however. the general charaCters are always similar.

tht. The spirit of party bestows upon them :m interest \\ hich agitates all the ardent aud credulous afiect.ions of \\ hich \l1an is susceptible. to such excess. What they have been. "nd which the imagination iuvests \\ ith all the illusions of which thought is suscepti bll'.of which zre known. De· n.. what horror must the dreadful efleCts of this passion add to the apprehension it is calculated to excite l There is no passion which can. But if this philosophical examination inspires a moment's indulgence.Qcr.cy or royalty are the paradise of these real cr. nothing ascertained. like Descartes. contraCt the understanding and dep\:ave the morals..indc·pcndent system out of all the opinions already intra• . peci :ic. by effacing \\ ithin itself all habits. By this analysis. an object \>hich has nothing :. nothing kno.. it cannot make any re~l progress. an . we find. ~ll prrjudices. that the source of p::rty spirIt is quite different from the senti· ment of guilt.siasts. n. has no elteCt upon the semations which their partizans experience in their favour. but by attaining the most rigid impartiality.. and forming. The human mind cannot develOpe all its force. what they l1. for an o~iea such as lhia passion represents.ay Lecume.

in every other circumstance. were yOll to propose to them to examine. we anticipate their arrival. and to certain opinions as to oaths.[ 187 J tluced. they would consider it as an attempt to seduce them into treason. that in all men passion is more distin. you can never prevail upon them to seek another point of view in the qucstion. Placed at the extre. There is a kind of magic circle traced round the subjeCt on which their confederacy turns. endeavour to distinguish themselves. whether it be. and adhering to some principle as to their chiefs. more by force than variety. that by multiplying their arguments. and no one can cross. Men of . \\ hich the whole party beats round. mity of an idea. and the eye bestows the shape instead of receiving the image.talents. like soldiers at their post. who. whether it be. . that our impressions procecd~ we do not wait till they are received. to investi. it is not from objects to our minds. guished by its sameness than by its extent. hut from our minds to the objects. they are afraid of presenting to their antagonists a greater number of points of attack. But when our thoughts are· once tine· • tured with the spirit of' party. then only employ the few ideas which are common to them with the most contraCted minds of those who adhere to the same opinion.

a nation. 1...1a. the most just sentiments opposed to each other. in \\ hich bmh p:lrties believe that they have demonstrated and est:ll:lished the truth. A long time must elapse before an age.. an individual. who has ~een the spec1ator of a revolution. when the most noble \\ ords have been dishonoured. we imagine ourselves plunged into that chaos. in which sensation. . • • -~ Thi<. and red Dring them all to one signific3tion. by mere knowledge alone. and even langl1age. the most just reasonings f:llsely perverted. dpr~ tiD·.ities. them::ticians may remind them that certainty may be attained by accurate principles... at last is forced to despair of discovering the truth amongst these imaginary representations. rcfleBion. confounding. s . mutually combine to form a chain of probabil. which Mil. however. in the eyes of men....... to combine some new con• <:i . and an impartial man. if he could have displayed it in the intelleCtual world.. the just and the unjust.. In this sphere of ideas. .[ 188 ] Eate some new idea. mrde of viewing but one side of ohjects.. ton would have rendered a thousand times 1110re horrible. ig one of the most fatiguing processes that can be conceived by those who are not susceptible of the spirit of party. vice and virtue.

but never by its knowledge. of all the passions. is shut against the spirit of party. and fame itself is so warped with the spirit of party. and to judge. as we have aI. all i!l~t'rest. that weighs alld balances. the fanaticism it inspires does not leave any choice in the means of securing victory. in which the man. and the career of truth. ReputatiOli being no longer dependentsolely on real merit. as well as every fear.[ 189 J can recover from the spirit of party. The spirit of party. indefinite like space and time. then becomes an opinion. and our own interest lends us no assi5tance where the passion is sincere. the spirit of party must. to discover. glory is rarely cotemporary. emulation flags by losing its ohjet!. not make his appeal to future ages. Ijnustiee discollrages the pursuit ofvirt'lt'. The spirit of party often gains its objeCt by its perseverance and intrepidity. devotes to a degrading slavery of belief minds formed to conceive. a plan. re:ldy observed. This passion extinguishes in superior men the talents they received [ro·m nature. that the virtllous man can. It no longer is that nUldness) that • . In a word. who thinks enjoys an happiness without limits. be that which is most hostile to the devclopement of thought. since. and every hope.

[ 190 ]

infatuation which cannot abandon a point with. out betraying all the consequences to which its leads, and the advantages it may be expeaed tQ produce.! But if this passion contracts the understand· ing, what influence does it not possess over the heart! I begin with saying that there is an epoch in the French revolution, I mean the tyranny of Robespierre, of which it appears to me impossible to explain all the effects upon general principles, either by the spirit of party or any other of the hU:l1an passions. That :era was out of the course of nature, beyond the limits of crime; and, for the repose of the world, we would \\ illingly believe, that as no combination ean enable us to foresee or to explain such atro· cities, this fortuitous conjunClion of all moral enormities is an unheard of occurrence which millions of ages ha\'e no chance of renewing. But to pass over this period, how many cri· minal aas has the spirit of party occasioned in France! what devastation has it not committed in every age! It is a passion that has no kind of co~nterpojse. Every thing it encounters in its progress must be sacrificed to the objeCt

[ 191

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it has in view. All the other passions being behsb, a kind of balance is frequently establish. ed between different personal interests. An ,lll1bitiollS man lIIay sometimes prefer the plea. sures of friendship, the advantages of esteem, to this or to that acquisition of power. In the spirit of party, however, every thing is posi. tive, because there is nothing real; and the CO,I11': parison being even made between something known and something unknownj between what is precise and what is indefinite, there is no room for hesitation between un bounded hope and any temporal advantage whatever. I use the word temporal, because the spirit of party deifies th~ cause which it adopts, hoping, if it triumphs, advan tages beyond the Il:lture of things. The spirit of party is the only passion which erects the destruction of all the virtues into a virtue, which lays claim to glory from all those actions which men would labour to conceal, if they were performed from motives of personal interest. Never can a man be plunged into a. morc frightful situation than when a feeling which he considers honourable, prompts hill} to the commission of crimes. If he is capable of friendship, he glories to sacrifice it; if he pos. sesses sensibility, he is proud to conquer hi~ feeling. In a word, pity, that divine sentiment

C192 J
which renders Eorrow a bond of union among mankind; pity, that virtue of instinct which preserves the human species, by preserving in. dividuals from the effeCts of their own madness, the spirit of party has alone succeeded in eras. ing from the soul, by withdrawing the interest of affection from individuals, and fixing it on whole nations and future generations. The spirit of'party effaces the feelings of sympathy in order to substitute the ties of opinion, and represents actual sufferings as the means, as the pledge of an immortal futurity, of a political happiness beyond all the sacrifices that may 1;e required for its attainment.
If men were to impress upon their minds a thorough conviction of the truth of this simple proposition, that they have no, right to do evil in order to obtain good, we should not have seen so many hl1Jllan victims immolated upon tr.e very altar of the Virtues. But since these compromises have taken place between the pre· sent and the future, between the sacrifice of the
present generation and the advantages to be

conferred upon posterity, a new degree of pas. sian considers itself as bound in duty to over· step all limits, and often men, prone to guilt, affecting to be animated by the examples of Brutus, of Manlius, of Fiso, have proscribed

C193.J
virtue, because gr~at men have sometimes int. m~lated -~gllilt;, have assassinated' those °they 'hated, because 'the Romans had courage to sacrifice all they held most deal'; have massacred feeble enenlies, because generous souls had assailed their adversaries in power; and deriving froril patriotism only the ferocious sentiments which at some periods it may have produced, have displayed no greatness but in wickedness, and have trusted only to the energy of guilt.

It will hold true, however, that the virtuous
man may surpass in active and efficient force the most audacious criminal. The world still wants an illustrious spectacle in morals and character, that of a Sylla in the road of virtue, a man whose character should demonstrate that b~Iilt is the rcsourse of weakness, and that it is to the defeCts of good men, not to their morality, that their bad success ought to be ascribeel.
,

A fter having sketched out a picture of the

spirit of party. my subject requires that I should speak of the happiness which this passion may bestow. There is a moment of enjoyment in all the tumultuous passions. This arises from the delirium by which the whole frame is agitated, and gives, in a moral sense, that kind of plclisure which children experience in the
2c

-c 194 J
sports, the enjoymentQf which. proceeds from exertion and fatigue. The spirit of p;trty will be found a very good substitute for the use of IOtrong liquors; and if the few rise superior to their present existence by the elevation of thought, the multitude escape from it by every kind of intoxication. .But when. the illusion has ceased, the man who awakes from the dream of party spirit i;;; the most unfortunate of beings. The spirit of party can never obtain what it desires. Extremes exist in the imagination of men, but not in the nature of things. Never does a spirit of party exist without its producing another in opposition to it; and the struggle is never terminated but by the triumph of the moderate opinion. A spirit of party is required to combat with efficacy against another spirit of party, and all that reason censures as absurd, is precisely that which must sllcceed against an enemy who pur. sues a course equally absurd. That opinion whiclt rises to the utmost height of exaggeration, transports to the lists where the combat is to be main. tained, and bestows arms equal to those. of the • adversary that opposes. But it is not from de. liberation that the spirit of party thus takes ex-

[ 196]

treme measures, and their success is not a proof ofthetalents of those by whom they a're employed. The leaders as well as the private me'n must march. blindly on, in order to arrive at the place . . . of their de'stination; and he who should attempt to reason with extravagance, would not, on this accotint, be a whit wiser than a real madman.

The force that aCts in war is a power wholly composed of impulse and effort, and the spirit of party is nothing but war; for all those prin• dples constituted for attack, those laws which serve as offensive weapons, are dissolved when peace arrives; and the most complete victory of a party necessarily destroys all the iufluence of its fanaticism; nothin g is, nothing ,can con· tinue, such as it desires. Doubtless, it is to the secret instinct which is derived from the empire which truth J;l1us.t \11timately possess over the final issue of t:vents, of that power which reason must ~ssume in times of caIm, it is to this instinCt that the horror which the combatants entertain for those who hold ploderate opinions ought to be ascribed. The two opposite faCtions consider them ;1S their greatest enemies, as those who will reap the adviimtages of the victory without

[ 196

J

mingling in the contest; as those, in n \\ oro, who alone can gain real success whenever the tide begins to turn in their favour. The Jaco~,il1s and the Aristocrats are less fearful of their mutual success, than of the predominance of moderation; because, they consider the for. mer as only transient, and are conscious of possessing ~imilar defects, which always give equal advantage to the conquered as to the conqueror. But when the fI uctuation of ideas brings things back to the bounds of justice and of possibility, the power, the importance of the spirit of party is gone, the world i~ again ad. justed lIpan its own basis, public opinion honours reason and virtue; and this inevitable , period may be calculated like the laws of na· ture. There is 110 eternal war, and yet no peace can be estaUished under the direC1ion of the pa"sions; no repose without conciliation, no tranquiility without toleration, no party then, which, when it has destroyed its enemies, can satisiy its enthusiastic followers. There is, besides, another observation, which is, that in this kind of war, the vanquished pJrtyalways avenges itself upon men for the triumph which it resigns to things. Principles rise with I u~tre from the attacks of thei\" anta. gOllists; individuals fall u:lder the attacks of
'

,

is not qualified to conduct the affairs of that party \\ hen it ceases to be at war. then. in all its sincerity. tha~ the accomplices are as severe as the judges when the geaeral responsibility no longer exists. never prove advantageous to those who.[ 197 ] their adversaries. have shown themselves the most violent and the most unjust.ion. ' But though the spirit or party. in the course it has pursued. and the hatred which the opponents entertained for the cause. this pas:. and the conquered and the conlluer9rs are re£Onciled \~ hen the one renounce their absurd cause. are ambitious of the honour of trying their conduct when the danger is past. The triumph::: of a party. Those even who applauded them when they considered themselves as preserved from some danger by their exertions. considered in a general • . 'What they have done to secure the triumph of tbeir party has ruined their individual reputation. Virtue is so strongly the original idea of all men. The man who. in his party. and the other aoandan their guilty leaders. might render men indifrerelJ t to personal ambition. assumes the form of contempt for its most criminal defenders. runs into the extreme.

no hopes could be more completely disap. if it were always to gain what it caIls its oQ. yet there have been men. in the course of the French revolu. it might even be possible to support. pointed. whose public conduct has been detestable. it is an· nihilated by the very success. but when the spirit of party triumphs. There is something real in the gratifications which glory and power bestow. least it should tend to moderate the horror which guilt ought to inspire. on the recovery of his reason. is never satisfied with any dura. And what sensation does not the moment we awake from the dream produce! Thl? misery which it occasions. if it arose only from the disappointment of a great hope. and what must be the feelings of a virtuous man. but by what means caQ we redeem the sacrifices it has cost.[ 198 ] view. the illusions of which are less connected 'vith reality. Were it possible even that it could be satisfied. have shown . when he finds that he has been guilty of aCtions. whirh. tion. he con· demns? It requires some effort to make the confes. in their private relations. no hopes ever ceased more certainly in the moment of enjoyment. for there are none. jeer. sion. and who.ble result.

[ 199 J themselves highly virtuous. He endures contempt from the same motive which. imagination can conceive. The miseries which spring from the charaCter have their reo medy in itself. to contemplate himself. ThtTe is. They ascribe to fatality the guilty aCtions of a virtuolls soul. That poetic invention which renders the part of Orestes the most frightfully interesting of all theatrical exhibi· tions. f1iCt which allows an estimable man to judge. in the mind of the man most deeply criminal. than that' phrenzy. a kind of correspondence which alone can enable him to exist. the spirit of party is able to realize. dies. in examining all the effects of fanatIcism. 1 he iron hand of destiny is not more powerful than this domination of a ruling idea. The sentiments which have prompted him to guilt conceal from him its horrors. which every single modeofthinkingex. -But what cruel punishment must that situation in. 1 repeat ::. From this opposition must arise the most cruel punishment which the. that it is the only sen· timent which can combine criminal conduct with a virtuous mind. . and remain hiuiself. led him to deserve it. after having committed such crimes! It is from a combination of chao raelers similar to this that the ancients have deduced the most terrible effects of their trage. \\e find it clearly demonstrated.

• To such sensations. and few men are strong enough to escape from its chains. when the motives which have occasioned them have ceased to be real. accused of blood and of tears. insulated in the world of sensibility. remorse. then. the sole tic which binds two beings so different as that which they appeared under the yoke of the spirit of party. .• [200 ] cites in the mind of him who abandons himself to its influence. when yet susceptible of pity. Overwhelmed with contempt. trose alone who deserve regret. and that which they were formed by the bountiful hand of n:lture. they will preserve only remorse. . the spil"it of party is fatality. will those one day awake. they will experience those miseries. when yet burning to form all union with the wholehuman race. when they require esteem. . even in their own eyes. who alone are sincere. While it subsists. and as the pledge of that fatal identity which conneCts them with their past life.

.llilt is itself a p:!'.'lllil".'.e.'.Jic opinion :lilll L ' se Ir esteem.ret bv 0 the latter.[ 201 ] ---=-.ld ll1i. and perk! ps the read. jlllt.ailtl. elrect This horrible situation reqllires . however.:. Lut \\ hell thev ha\'e • rarricd a lliall to a cerLlin pitch Of enormity the becoIllcs the cause. '.. thilt the jo\e of .'.l. 2D e . The charal-ier (I. \\' Ilere the 1'0)'I11er j~ disrcCTarded.iol1. it mint IJe coufessfd.t particular ex plan<:tion.l W.lit" or U.ort):y ac. j\'n doubt all the 01!1(']" passions h:ad to this excess.-"" OF GeILT.:': o!rcvents tEen fru!lJ performing mallY v. \\hich at first \\as only the means. '[I lere arc Ill<lll\' ':lst.~ a.~. becomes the end.'.rf" .()ro'(.! tlJlIst armE':. and t}. 1jen i:re preserved under the ~uida:lce of morality by two priucil)lts.lncc. .e guilt.?r must have been spectator of a revlJ]utioi1 to comprehend what I am about to say upon this subjeCt. I-IoRR I rL E as the ide:.t:(. tilo"e \r!'o !'(" . :Iil .Ir.

It then is no longer passion that commands. that his aim is directed to some olJ· . a kind of fever rages in the bicod. hich ~pring from a desire of esteem. which imposes guilt as an absolute \\ ant. Robespierre and the mao jority of his accomplices habitually had convul. without. however. sive movements in their hands and in their heads. when they can no longer fix themselves to any kind of principle. beyond the bounds of na· ture. But after men have brohn down every thing like order in their conduCt. but can· traftion that sustains the effort. and even ~he phrenzy is very commonly manifested by external symptoms. being then too painful to be endured. but when it has reached its height. This impulse becomes a physical sensation tramported into the moral world. rdleElion. in whatever senses it may appear. charge of their principal duties.)' the criminal always thinks in a general v. extinguishing those virtuous sentime:Jts which determine them to the dis. Men begin with committing excesses fran) the violent impulse they han: received. Certain. reasoning. it always produces an involuntary and dreadful tensi0!l.a)'.[ 202 ] tions \. In their appearance was displayed the agitation of a constant effort. however slender.

he alwdyS surpasses his ellen/ie:> in the idea he • . in the system of the world. The sanguinary animal has his appointed place in the world. consist in the dread of the dangers to which he is exposed by his crimes.pires. of things. praved. but it is more de. If. it is eel'· tain that the passion of guilt is the link between man and the brutes. to establish his sway. and guilt sees no safety but in fresh enormities. The trac:es of reasoning. This clTeCl: can hardly be compared to any thing but the taste for blood in wild beasts. it inspires an inward fury. the different natures of beings. which compels men to act without any other motive but the necessity of action.[ 203 J jeCl:. It is in some respeCts as involuntary as their instinct. but man makes himself criminal. but his mind is so distracted. vered through the chaos of a guilty m:l1I's sensations.·. of sensations. are connected by intermediate objeCts. Whatever maybe the horror \\hic:h a villain in. for it is nature that has created the tiger. while the guilty lllall must overturn all order. which can be di'eo. of species. that it is im: possible to explain all his aclions by the inte· rest of the objeCl: which he is desirous to attain. Crime demands crime. even when they experience neither hunger nor thirst.

e (Crtll..' '"-'- ~ •••• '0 "\'~' III III C.' • J.. An. but ill thi~ horriiJlc intoxication prOHS.. tu. I CCt'c1lS as tLey <lG\':lI1CC.t a i l:rcllzy \\ :thOllt 11]0· tiy.ee. it n.OrC tLail II C perceive. it) lIP f()rnl~ (If ' 11 ' . may pl"n.. at le'lst. Lr-J. o •• _..c..d). but \\ hen guilt has arri\'Cd at a certain eXITSS.." C".t is 110 . 1 . .e illf.[ 204 ] conceives to himsf·if of the batreJ 1:(' ueser\"cs.SiO:1 P ['\11:5C5.::::15.·F . nt tl~e inconsistency of' . l : I. L Idel' the . \\ bieh ~trikl'~ him . .-l~""' - ' · ' 1 '. !Il.. .lliL. t11t to tk'l11 ~l.::~) y\ i~1~out :::.I. .. C L .l'!'Oe!OllS . ..e \\lO· n.': l:oiut 01 his 1:0..cm ()f }H S C'. II I atcI'cr . ":. di .sions is kI10\111.e c:i1ll1 of SJ!.l .ill~ is presrri!ed by the atruci~y or t! c !.. i.. ·~ . pr a:1Y other excessive sClltilllCllt.cr tl. a p.e ULIIJI).e remains . tI):s '.:Cl:illllS \I' hieh be COIll.' e nrc '.'l cOdscioliS of SOlllCtiii:lg II.'c'ry ClrClIlll.e Lates in others the opilJion \l. tl. lni ts l'e:"'oi e O'.' .hi'ioll.ay Le.lf eyc:-" he i. . .e\'l:ayc ril. Tl.. 1'hl' O:JjCl'[ Gf a:l the oLler p:.l • • ~llL.lpt Ll the (oll1n~i~'ion of criIiH's..trl:.n..nccdillg day.r.j- I.. .1 ~ to 7. \'11. !:'l " I d. _OLtl. A blind force ill1pds me. ~ .l~tion.i...i()ll \\ Liell :l:is UPO:: it'elf.I~ . . (he ILil~t of pml('r.-.ccnt l\ hent'ver t!.a)'. it is '\i:bhe:d by 110 bOll1l0S: tl. .l to proreed in the de.~~ \~jtl~:}tlt bciil~ a.e'l'cd lI::nn it.tallce tnat ]ollf. .. and tl.~~ei~t of a d~~irr. y. in hll:self ti.0" '1 e1 ~ ") .1' I to tcJr hill1~elt' in pieces it' 0. ..trc ()~. it. " .to:li~hed 1 • .L it i'.\.e cclion it prrf'e\r:1'rs in the m()n.cd dir(. I .

. tlilJtl.t criilles only tllat tllcy see:. '1'1.t Illdd.lti. like the a. ill prcsc:.l<. incollJpatible with tL<: iil\\Jrd :~.' most men is. tLcI11 from aJo1Jting tLe ~\lrest 11)(.e.S is behind. a cer· Llin fu!'y III:ich p..!l tbe convulsive ferocity of SlIch llJel}. In proportion as their natural propensities '.d1 It reallv were f"vour'. the fear of bci~lg p:lnisl:ed for their Cl illlCS.tk~'i. it i:.cent of the Illack i\lolIl1tain. tl:ere is about them.' call1J..' to peace and to rccollcili.(' p:'cvailing se:ltinJcnt 0. and to him repose is il1ljJo.:t'. il tile:: are at the sallic tillle t!....' '" able to their i:ltcrests.:t. ho\\ever. He cannot s:01' at any ]im.'a~ISC the :1:)Y. cl<. It is much better.l point.11]'. Evay re·. and hCCiH!:. "here you are threatened by the crimes of \ . since thr end <f all exertion io fe-pose. de Cri!L! i:J tlie Persian Ta:es. Lut bc. not because hore invites l:i:l1.'c'\'Cl. would be rejeCled. thc heights sink in pl'OpunilJa as the traveller has SUr:1lOLlllteJ thel11.C' ILO. and 0.sib'r:.1.tl\. He ml!s~ advance. the morc honilJle is the irritation \'. for i:ldl'ill!lity against past.oll:! iail tend.[ 205 J man feels himself condemned to a perpetnal !Lotion. In measures of tltis deseri pticn there is a kind or imbecility.J:l. ere kind.hich they C'xperience.ti()llJ \\i.

than to those who have been obliged to deprave their own minds. to be exposed to those corrupted being~ who ha\'e never made any account of morality. they are in themselves more rest· less. The latter are more attended by contem pt. thin:. • ~ The n~o<. and they \\ ill astoni~h by guilt. The . The moral nature. and to extinguish some vir. when there is no grandeur attainable but in its excebS. even though placed at tl'e highest point of prosp~rity. points always at something complete. tuous qualities.ilial upon the throne of the \1 arId. \~ho dete"t ll. No.. \\ hich might recall to them the ancient traces of \\ hat they have felt and thought.[ ~05 J ethers. \Iould not rC:-Ider him mild and gentle towards the men \\ bo \\ere doomed to be his slaves.t energetic of these monsters at last come to be as anxious for hatred as otkr men arc for esteem. ill ardent minds. in order to divest themselves of ordinary combinations. \Iould ~atisfy those furious beill!!"'.: of restraint witltin fixed limits. they plunge in~o greater excesses. for they can only distract it. which should place such a crin. That arrangement of the social order.cn as the speCtators of their cunduCt. 'Vhen men have once reached this horriUe period. they must be cast out of society.

the immediate application of which to ourselves cannot fail to ·appal every being who cherishes the desire to live. that which makes others • sulfer? What must be his nature. and. G . as it were. that is to say. if they do not love. But I am aware that.• . this irreparable aCt. what guilt is there in the world. he is cast. in speaking of guilt. seems to acquit the tyrant.misfortune. who can brave this terrible and solemn idea. is always the principle of all external aCtion. after all. intpxicates the imagination. He no . is gratified by the terror which we inspire. From this day he feels that repentance is im pU~iible. [ 207 J aggrandizement of oursclvea. this act which alone gives man a power over eternity. The revolution of France combines all these ideas in this horrible depravation. but that which i$ cruel. into a new world. to gratify his ambition. in some way or other. my ideas have been confined to cruelty. by degrading the victims. Men may fear. that desire which. could infliCt death? What must be his nature. The terror we inspire flatters and encourages. \Vhen a man can deliberately conceive and commit this act. and enables him to exercise a faculty which is unlimited only in the empire of. and. as the e~'il is irreparable. the blood is currupted. breaks offour relations with others. who.

c:.~l l:c cltert::i::s of l:!mself is nll. should Le fixE'tll cyond the pos.0"c\'. 1\ut.\' bold could be laid on such a chao • rafier.l1icient power over them· sel.iDe the past aDd the future.- 1 1 to per~lIa(Jc 1 a cnHll- .ith all t1. ~ibility of retreat. The nrst dawn of repentance should be hailed as an eternal cn..2. There is not. cc.:en.:ps. in the first n:::ce.. .• [ ~08 ] longer conr:~(:ers llIn~selr cf the snnle species . the opililoa "hi(. it w"u]d Lc Ly ~ll at OLce persuading him that he is aLsolutcly p:lrdoned.(~~·:e ~Le ~tten1J't.ut there arc very few indio viduals v. pcrL.. . I·Iow c. . it is cOI::ra.out belying their character. thO'lgh its most obvious interest should di~'iate such a conduct. tCDk :]. it is aln'cst in..tinguish tbe rel'.ell more riSid in its n. \\ lio \'.e l1at~lr(' ofrhings.huld pa:'don.dd h" c.idcs.• nat t.iven .::t his r:Hc!1('cs are for.:. tl:a01 the pity with which he could inspire a vir'llln:s m.lIo pOSSE'SS sl. l. brance of his crimes.'y to tl'.m a mall confide to the C _ multitude a plan \\ hich can never succeed. I.:n. a tyrant.e i~r-t ~t<')) trl\\ ards :lmendment hy 2cridrnt.'ho com:.-es to purst:e such a condnEt witl. It' a'. that ana· tion s. if. EVen the most prcsperOl:s.cmc.t to virtue.ould not \\ish to begin anew tle career (of Yirt\lC'. perLlp.orali:y. tI1O\1£h \\'e • • C E-jiot~:d r~-.. and those \\ ho..j:o'"iLle.:.

in a word. and induce the multi. too. Eesides. tude to act in unison with the private feeling of every individual? A man really criminal can !lever be recalled to virtue. He possesses in himself even still fewer means to assist the return to virtue and to philosophy. alJd escaped from all feelings. duce a revolution in the heart of man. ceasing to exist. 2 E: . If he does feel remorse. every source of enlotion. which we are sure to find when we are desirous to acr upon it. it is not that which serves to restrain. every thing that can pro. but the man who is COUl plete! y cri minal has launched beyond all bounds. The dignity of order and of pure morality loses all its influence upon a depraved imagination. every sentiment. but that which more and more impels to violent actions.[ 209 ] but by seeming not to be one? How can YOlt compel a great number of men to observe a complex movement which must appear to be an involuntary proceeding. it must eternally follow the same path. In the midst of the deviations which have not reached this excess. We aI ways feel a reflection lurking behind. there al· ways remains a portion of ourselves which may serve to recall us to reason. It is a kind of fear which precjpitates flight.

hich threatens a 111Jn abandoned to his pas. sions. Compared with this prominent colour. but also the pain that accompanies each particular passion. which they have expressed in their descriptions of the infernal regIOns.[ 210 ] It were superfluous to expatiate on the influ" Ence which a phrenzy of this nature must exert over the happine55 of mortals. which rolls do\\ n the mountain as often as he strives to roll it up. piCture to tiS a faithful image of that necessity of aCting. • • l\{ost of the metaphysical ideas which I have just been endeavouring to unfold) are pointed out and illustrated by the mythological relations of the ancients respecting the final destiny of those who had signalized themselves by their crimes. and this danger alone is sufficient to frigh'en and deter the mind from every thing that might tend to involve us in it. that. even without • . they called to their assistance all the allegorical tales of u1ythology. every thing else faints into shade. Sysiphus labouring at an huge stone. The ever-streaming casks of the Danaides. And so deeply struck were the ancients with the frightfulness of this situation. The danger of falling into such a state is the very misfortune '. in order to descri be it. nor is it merely the sufferings of remorse.

sary to shew what the wicker! experience even in the full career of their \. ulldC'r the supposed pressure of ~o painful a ~i(uatioll. merely because it relieves him from rest. to be inferred. which compels a criminal to the most painful and laborious action. the relief of suicide is lJot more frequently resorted to. even before it hac! (edsed to operate. and pad been succee(Ld by remorse. or to desist from desiring it. after all. is the sale remedy against irreparable ills l' But though it but rarely happens. it is not. than which nothing to him is so insupportable. the description of their hell required something more. for death. the ancient philosophical poets were sensible that it was not enough to shadow out and describe the sufferings of reo pentance. therefore. that the profligate are less unhappy . trays the habitual torment of thilse men who • have consigned themselves over to wickedness and guilt.[ 211 ] :my fixed object. They are equally unable to attain any thing that is gOGd. Tantalus continually endeavouring to approach an objeCt which as uniformly recedes from him. But it may be asked. and II hat their very passions for crimes ma(:e thelll en· dure. wl:y. Jn a word. that the profligate lay violent hands upon themselves.'. and they thought it neces. pour.idedncss.

If we fling out of thi~ mortal life. far from di~~usting hin. deep and seriolls reAeAions. all the can· trary. \\ ith lifr.ertain dread.':e are not \\ ithout a \\ish that ollr loss should be sO:'1ewhat regretted. a certain degree of pain dis. there is son. makes him cling to it with a kind of r:1fi.eth1l1g in the very a:'-( of suicide that arglle~ a ~ellsibility of di'iposition. if we resolve upon suicide from an utter disrelish of existence. mu~t ne· cessarily have preceded that resolution: but the malice with which the heart of the wickecl man ran kles against his enemies. corous rapture. long and reo peated rx"minations of ourown mind. in order to rescue ourselves from the tor men ts of the heart.erpetrate suicide. would make him dread that his death would enahle them to breathe in security . makes the criminal fasten upon existence with a mix· . pirits and f. and a rast of philo~ophy. dved soul. with \':hich the apprehension of wha: may follow this life.[ 212 J <'-no miseraUe than tho~e who resolve upon and r.1 enables us to appreciate the destiny of n~an.ltig\les. . \\ hich are altogether foreign to the nature of a dep. whir. never CeaSES to haunt the mind of the guilty. but the irritation that <ICcompanies the perpetrati011 of criInes. and. \~i(10Ut laying the least stress on that vag lie unc.-the rage that agitates him.

alarms of SL!ch a state it is impossible there should ever exist that interval of calm meditation. to form an irrevocable resolution. The guilty man is ever restless and distrustful. he beholds in it a kind of prey which he pursues for the pleasure of tearing it in pieces. peculiar to the character of the eminently guiity. in no measure contributes to mitigate their sufferings. the mberies they end ure: their pride forbids it. UndEl' the. for the severest of all pain is that which cannot repose upon itself. and in obedience to her diCtates. he observes with regard to his OWIl reflect iOIl the sallle precaution and reserve IV hich he puts. even to themselves. That courage which enables a man to brave the terrors of death.[ 213 J ture of fury and of fear. He behaves towards hiIllSelr as if he were negociating with an enemy. The greatest criminals may evince intrepidity in the midst of dangers: with them it is an effeel: of mad folly. a kind • of resource. more(lver. \ . that silence and serenity of refleCtion which is requisite for a full examination of truth. or rather this internal struggle and restraint.on in order to shew himself in public. not to acknowledge. But this illusion. b!:'ars not the least affinity to the disposition that resolves upon selfdestructioll. It is. even in the secret recesses of his own mind.

be a painful punishment to an honourable soul. he holds from her. dence has not armed them with this sublime resource. by energy of soul. to subdue the most powerful movement of the human breast. the instinct of self-preservation! How dHlicult "auld it be not to suppose some generous impulse in the heart of the man whom repentance should drive to the act of suicide !-It is indeed not to be lamented that the truly wicked are incapable of such a resolve. doubtless.[ 214 J an emotion. Alas! how difficult would it be not to take an interest in the fate of a man \vho rises superior to nature. that Provi. exdudes those elevated sentiments with which the boon of protracted existence is spurned and renounced. . when he converts life into an instrument to destroy life. which. a hope that prompts to aCtion j but those very men. it would. though the most miserable of mortal beings. scarcely ever attempt to cut short their existence. when hecan prevail upon himself. or that there is in the nature of guilt it~elf a kind of ?rdent selfishness. not to be able to hold in sovereign con tem pt a being which it can only loath and execrate. whether it be. while it afioras no enjoyment. when he throws away what.

EN TilE FASSIO:<S AND rHE RESOURCES WE l'O.T\\'F. conjugal love. tacism. and when religion is heated into fana. in some characters. parental tenderness. FRIENDSHIP. E:.[ 215 ] SECTION THE SF-CONDo • • OF TliE SENTI I. while. then all I h:n-e s~tid rdative to the spirit of party is perfecHy applicable to reo ligion. The exigencies of the heart. I -- - CHAP. form the point of resemblance by which friendship and the sentiments of nature approximate to the pains of love. filial piety.lENTS TIIAT A RE lNTER~IF.PLANATION OF THE TITLE OF THE SECOND SECTION. religion itselt~ carry with them. these very same affections bestow most of the ad vantages that result from the resources we possess within ourselves. by which I mean to express the necessity we feel of some kind of return on the part of others. . in other characters.SESS WallIN OUnSELVES. DIA Ti nr. 1. many of the inconveniences that arise frol11 the passions.

the husband. still affeCtions such as those could not be ranked in the class of the resources which man possesses within himself. the happiness that may flow from these endearing ties is no longer in your PO\\ er : and as for religion. under thEse different point~ of view that 1 have classed the suhjeCt of the three chapter~ which are ahollt to follow. intenseness of faith. COIIsidering them as intermediate bet\\een the' pas. even l"hould religion be untainted by fanaticism. for these sentiments. however modified. the children. It is. If you are torn from the friend whom you cherish.[ 216 J But even though friendship and the senti· ments of Nature should feel nothing of these exigencies. render us never· theless dependent upon chance. are objeCts unworthy of your love. but it is not in the power of any mortal to bestow lIpan himself the happiness which they can procure. if the pa· rents. the uti] ity of reI igious sentiments must still be acknowledged. sions that enslave us and the resources which depend upon ourselves alone• • . therefore. is a gift wholly indepf'ndent of us: unassisted even by that firm belief. which constitutes the basis of all its blessings. whom it is your lot to have.

where but in sentiment. Am I then about to belie the who!e tenoul' of my own life ? Father. 1 bf'~ieve. Perhaps. One day marked by happiness. and I have ~Jut too dearly Jc:lrnt from Illy wounds all the pains tbat attend it. one persOn distinguished by superior worth. is it my tenderness for you that I am going to disavow? . 1 fanty. • I CANNOT forbear stopping short in the milldle of the present work. I have ncithel' sought for happiness. nor should I taste it else. and dive~t them of all hopes of durable happi. self with slirprize at the fortitude and firmness with which I <ltJaly. that I would still fain 2:< . even at the very moment that I am now writ.la~·ing an hundred times lost it.r\ h! no: from the earliest monJents of my existence. rI. and an htltldred times we return to this fond hope. being struck my. Ulg. friends of either sex.e the atfections of the heart. hess.C217 J •• CHAP. after l. children. 111ake us cling to these illusions.

without having his resolutions influenced by the lights of his understanding. In order to go back to the source of human feelings we must expand and enlarge our refleCtions. neral. nor is the justness of one's reflections at all impaired by that weakness of heart which prevents our withdrawing ourselves from the stings of pain: be. as if he were a stranger. enables a man to appreciate himself. and the true moralist is he who speaks not from invention or from reminis. the less entitled to belief when he holds out reasons for resisting it. wholly foreign to the nature of the individual charaCter. a kind of philosophy in the mind. by keeping them uncramped by our personal circu1115tances. therefore. but the person that has proved unable to subdue his sensibility is not. sides. it enables him to behold himself suffering without deriving any alleviation of his grief from his faculty of observing it in hiRlself. I still let my destiny hang entirely on the affeCtions of my heart. were we to intermingle them with the detailed impression of particular situations.'es to paint man in ge. general ideas would no longer enable us to make an universal application. cence. . they have given birth to thought. but thought rises aLove them. but who contini.[ 218 ] be loved. and never himself.

but those pure and sincere attachments that spring from • • . it makes us feel. and if he is able to renounce being" Joved. in a great mea· sure. in this melancholy alternative: if to be loved is necessary to constitute his happiness. mising us the enjoyment of the vivid plEasures which love is wont to inspire. for it only tends to enrich us at a future day.\'stem of lertain and durable happiness is gone for him. all s. And in the view that I am no\\' to take of friendship. not those capricious conneCtions. without pro. the pains that attend love. grounded On a variety of agreemen ts. to abridge our enjoyments requires 110 ordinary exertion of courage. it impresses us with the sense that we require a return from others. let me first consider. in order to secure wlnt may remain. • • J . that can be traced to no other source than vanity and ambition. then a great portion of his enjoyments is sacrificed. for it does not deprive you of a due dominion over yourself. neither is it a resource which we find within ourselves.C 219 J Friendship is not a passion. by the operation of all his affeCtions. and in this point of view. since it exposes the objetl:s of its choice to the various vicissitudes that may arise from difference of lot. Thus. Man is placed. or difference of character: finally..

. tive proje5ls. \Vcre it in the power of t\\ a friends to Llend and in.ought unveils itseif tile very moment it dawns upon . but as the lot of the other was happy or miseraLit'. hose sale motive is an anxiety to com· municate our sentiments and our thoughts.er their respec. they tasted thqt serenity of mind. no happiness or no misery. If they deriye a secret plril'ure from the~e conversations. and dc'stined to n. and to transfuse into each other's sou! all the ardour of self. \T. if. to enlighten each other's mind.o\'e in a conspicuous sphere. :1lJd where tl. termingle their beings. which arises from the certainty and the charm of unrestrained affeCtions: then. are desiro~:s to disclose to each otl. unclouded by suspicion. love i if ~jther kne\'. in the mutual confidence.E 210 J the uninfluenced choice of the he3rt. they are 11:q)py i but what a source of woes may there nut spring from the pursuit of such enjoyments! Two men. and by a mutual communication of knowledge. . attachments. the fond assurance that anqther heart throbs responsi\'e to our sorrows or our joys. distinguished for their talents. in the reciprocity of each other's sentiments. the hope of creating an interest in another's breast. \' here the uI~dcrstandin[ relishes alw the (1 al'n:s of intimac\'. indeed.

and. cOllrse all comparative judgment on their reo spective merit. \\·hat a sacrifice must we not suppose them to make of self love. a IIriter provokes no other antagonist but the pride of him who reads his work. from their own unassisted operation. before we can believe that they thus un bosom to each other. The passions. without appreciating tLeir respr. As it is im possi bIe to separate friendshi p fr01l1 tho ~ . by suppposing it. imagines himsdf capable of committing a bad ac. therefore. nor an am· bition of a contrary tendency. that it were needless. without allotting the class thal either should occupy. I do not here tuuch upon those perfidious rivalships which ordinary competition is wont to produce. suppose that nei· ther an equal degree of ambition.ainst them. Let us. vourable point of view. and as it ~hews itself in the most fa. for I have li1l1!ted the design of this work to the I=onsideration of mankind according to their charaCter. to describe their etTeRs on the hearts of those that are naturally vicious: as no man. produce such a lllass of misery. this kind of danger alarms no one.E 221 J the mind. in the tirst instance.8ive powers! that they exclude from this intellectual inter. in order • to admcJ]ish us a!:!. tion. shall disturb th~ harmony that subsists between tllO friends. llnct that they obtain a perfect ~nowledge of each other.

ious to analyse. As friendship cannot. It.operation. then not only does he lose the objeCt which he so anxiously desired. by this admixture of sentiment with business. though it be likewise composed of a kind of regret. which we are not over anx. then. but the less will soon be aggravated and embittered by painful refleCtions on the diminished cordiality of his frien4's co. like love. if it ccases to €xtend itself to the whole of your existence. Finally.[ 222 J conduct which it prompts. of worldly interests with the interests of the heart. we are affected with a particular kind of pain. feed and live upon itself. because it appears more honourable to attribute it wholly to sentiment. \\hich becomes more poignantly painful by being blended with the affections of the soul. it must participate in every thing . seems as if it were better to separate friendship altogether from what is not purely friendship: but its most po\\Crful charm must vanish. if he imagines that he has reason to complain of his want of zeal. shall not alter the opinion he entertained of the sentiments of that friend? If he is dis~atisfied with the degree ofaCtivity \Vith which his friend e8pouses his cause. a reciprocity of good offices is one of the ties that must neces· sarily result from it: and who can rest satisfied that the success of the efforts which a friend may exert for the welfare of another.

The enthusiastic ardour which war inspires. and substitutes in their room the necessity of mutually supporting each other. and awakens your feelings: but it is to the discovery and to the preservation of this other self. when they pourtrayed her image in the persons of Theseus and Pirithous. of strongly struggling. and by continually holding up to the mind the terrific image of death. by teaching them to brave the terror:. of Castor and Pollux. fills up the various vacuities of life. valour. facilitated their self·devotion to the happiness of another. of death. arouses all the passions of the soul.[ 223 ] that touches your interests. it silences all petty rivalries. But without dwelling upon what may be merely fabulous in the history of those heroes. it is evident that it was to companions in :JrlllS that these sublime sentiments were as· cribed. for the toils and dangers which they encounter together. that such a crowd of obstacles arise. or of bravely perishing together.to . The ancients formed to themselves an exalted notion of friendship. But all those generous emotion!. of Orestes and PiJades. are rather to be regarded as qualities that morc pecliliarly bel'ong. of proudly triumphing. which. spring from the noblest of all human sentiments.

. the most rigorous exaCter upon others: we require that it alone should fill up life. To the picture of all these anxieties I know there may be opposed that of those frigid beings \\ ho love. In order to form a right opinion of the nlere nature of friendship itself. gined to have formed with our associates -in dunfrpr. lio reguhlte bdOle hand with what degree of . will it plainly appear. gethfr neither the career of military glory. but eYen \Iere we to experience an equal zeal of friendship for each other. we mu~t obsene its oper:ltion in the breasts of men who run to. II ill ever be realized. perhaps.. as they do every thing else. tion 1\ ill be long. - [ 224 ] courage than to friendship: when the stornl of II ar is blown over. there is but very little probability that this conneCtion. we should soon be mutually Ileary and impatient of that recipro. city of return which it exacts. that in ardent souls frienuship is. nor that of amLitious strife: and then. or that its dura. of all the sentiments which inform the human breast. and injuriously impute it to the want of sensibility on the part of our friend. which we ima. who consecrnte to friendship a cert:lin day of the weeki \'. we grow irritated and peevish at the \'oid it leaves.

that it was merely my intention to follow and obsei've the life and lot of impassioned souls. What then becomes of the pleasure that accompanies mutual communicativeness. if indift. . dant upon love: a similar passion l1IU~t rec. and thus it becomes a mere atten. It is habitual \\'ith women to make an unre· eerved communicativeness the first condition of friendship.i.pro. carries with it the same charaCter j llnd the reflection. if an effort be betrayed? The whole charm is then vanished for souls of sens. who yield to an inclination just as they discharge a duty.ards self.'rence be once discovered. that proves successively importunate to both. cally occupy them.entiments less exclusive. that they arc confidentially communing with each other on s. and then their conversation is generally nothing else than the alternate sa.• [ 225 ] influence over their happiness it may be safe to arm this sentiment j in a word. crifice i11ade by her who listeris for the hope of being permitted to speak in her turn: even the very persuasion. intervenes as a third. But I have already hinted in the introduction to this work. for the happiness of others is sufficiently secured by th'e ~bsence of the very qualities of which they are depriv'ed. that they are occupied with what rec.

\\ hich. of wit and beauty. of II hich. tercourse \Iith which the keenly piercing eye of delicacy bas once perceived that friendship has become \\ c:lrv• . i\ever can the ordinary men endure the idea of endeavouring to prove pleasing to a man in the presence of another woman.s. extinguish every kind of interest. does . and the whole of the sex seem to have Cut one common stock of pleasing accomplishments. which results from the admixture of sentiment and self love. but from a certain arral1gen~ent of truth: this secret they all pas· sess. As eyery woman has the same destiny. which. would. newrtheless. in oruer to clear awuy the ~ • . and selfishness alone can prolong an in. at the same time. or there must appear a substantial decided ~uperiority. be esta. There must. ed with these qualities from the ruin of her neighbour.either a total su ppression of the more blished vivid sentiments. therefore. is the most diflicult to be subdl:ed. they abominate the .• [ 226 ] bility. while each lao bours to persuade herself. by silencing all rivalry. The generality of women are influenced bv a cunning. 11Owe"er. that she is enrich. they all tend to the same objeCt.. and that kind of jealousy.run of wodiscovery. not proceed from falscne~.

cd one. 011 the sidp. would be the friend.agine themselves to possess. as unfortunate as yourself. or one's peculiar lot. frustrate the happiness of SL!ch a blissful tie? N(1)' is this all: the woman \\ ho should imagine tllat she F0<. or may prove. can alone pour the due balm into the bosom that is secretly corroded \\ ith the LittcTiless of grief. . that the iirst. ill another wonwn. and \~jth a larger share of positive good qualities. and then only. Fer. the Illost I are and distingui~h. the dearest possession in lifc. as ~hc I" list know it to uc the rarest of all moral chances. on the side of the one. might not aoscncc. th~ more \\ auld she be disheartened from advising it as the lot of all. or. tLe n:ore tl:orollghly ~lIciJ a \\oman would feel all that l\ilS lleu'ssary in order to derive happiness froll! such an intercourse. there can oe perfeCt tranquillity. then.e discovered.C 227 J general obstructions which sC'paratc \rOmen from one another. 01'. would it doubtless oe found.sessed ill a llIan the most accompli'heel al. has the breast of a man ever ex perienced all the heart of a \\ oillan is susceptible of r No: the being that has proved. ship of a woman. before. they lIlust provide themselves with as many plea3ing accomplishments as they may ill.Ll feeling friclId. that lllatchles~ ob· ject :. But should evell that rare. of the other. a perfeCt self.sacrifice.

or anyone sentin:ent absolutely similar. how far soever either • .. uninfluenced by any common in~ terest. they would then endeavour to obtain from one another that dbtin guisLing preference.[ 228 J . from the effeC1 0f that very opposition.. was their li:lk of union. or rather claims by degrees. per· cei\'e but little pleasure 'in the passion that pos~ ~esses them: these sorts of connections do not subsist long. and. on the other hand. which makes either a man or a woman. 'Where.. .1ch other: but should love bppen ta ensnare them. . for then it suddenly appears that it alone. as it \\('1'('. s:on only can bestow. what pas. however. there 'then arises an undescribable kind of sentiment. different sexes. a mixture or selfishness and of self-love. imperceptilily. . they will endeavour to find in friendship • all the self-devotion \\ hich that sentiillcnt can inspire.. . a man and woman are not otherwise attached by love. these two friends • ha\'e no first ohjeCl to engage them. it would seem that two friends of • . or they soon heak off aitogether. which solicits... and between two persons of different sexes. approximate to e. whom f riendshi p unites. tl~ere is a kind of anatural exaetion of a return. ceases to be an objeCt of 10. ' finalh-. . the objeCl on which they mutt:al1y c0mn1enced. whenever it is felt tbt. • • But if. should. '.

pifli cult to habituate the min d to can tem plate the ~imits. the mistress of his heart. ever there exists a passion thilt inehriates. whe. -. . and from this very consideration we are more struck with t!1e one than with the other. there is sometimes discovered !llore parity between extremes. and ~~f'ntiIlients that are unbouIlded more easily believe that they resem ble each other. its i)lace may be supplied by deced'ul appearances. are kno\\ n to have in • vIew. it is. the end and object which all those. The preference which a male friend may give to.·~. as in all other relations. who look for frienrlship. and eguality is here as arduous a task to establish. nevertheless.more is given than is receiv. it is il111u:ined that .[ 229 ] mav be removed from the consciousness of its • influence. . within which the very nature of this sentiment eire umscri bes the proofs of frien dshi p. but the eye d' friendship cannot be deceived: and when it proceeds to cOlllparisolls. is previouslyand unreluBantly submitted to. . . it but seldom obtains the resldt it wished lor: so rarely ooes what \\C lllea~ure and compute appear equal. but it is . . Love would much more easily resign the claims of reciprocity than friendship. ed.

shness? 1\0: on the contrary..Si:re t:.illd Lis bUJily.. DOl/btle.:I)' Lot be exhausted.ve the most to dread from penllitting its hap.lrt<.uJ~ . you \1 ho are born \\ ith ft>eling hc..0['1.S c\ery ~acrifice tliat would be made to .i tLe :~lL:litid'_r oflifc. IJl:t the rc"o:. tut thi~ felicity of a day poisons . t::. t1'at i~ Jilost susceptible of \Iarm impassiollcd attarh'l. this very nfiecrion ought to lead us to believe that \\e must exclude from the affections of the soul. the man who hus known Li:::~elf to Lc the ol~ect of a deep implanted 1.asciolJ. The lI.c pk~:oUIT~ \\ !lic h derive lIot from ~cIJ.cnls. rl'selll ble the gifh of hea\"eIJ. piness to depend on an eagerness to be beloved? :\nd is tLis reflection of il nature to make liS deliver ourselves lip to the cold embrace of self.e's OWil heart.c .. eHi] the selfishness of sentiment.r"'i of ol. h.1 s to the happilless of his fr..an II La CiJ"secra:es his da. the man \\ ho.[ 230 J rIow n:elancholy are the thOlights \\ hich thjg ar. must expel icnce emntiO:1S more exquisitely intoxicating: tho:. \'..lt n. for that is the only hope that never \\ ill cecei\ e.e t. ci 1).s. ho eYery n~oment received new pr()o:~i of the rcnderness he inspired. they exalt and imparadi. Be satisfied \\ ith loving.. by [juli.alysis 'li~gests 1 espeCting the lot of mortal 11:an: \\'hat I shall the disposition. nor is thereanv other • trc.

may rhk indulging in friendship without any apprehemion of danger. therefore. or impressed by the sense of some duty. the man whose soul is so trembling]y ae'live and alive in procuring the happiness of tho~e \\I:om he loves. . in friendship. joy men ts he bestows. But so refined a devotion is wholly without exam pIe among eq lIals. in the en. however. and it is lJeCaUSc such is the constitution of the heart. it may indeed exist when inspired by enthusiasm.( 231 J him. it is aln!Ost impossible. and as more condu::ive to the quiet oj hC:lrts end lied with impassiolied sensibility. the full valuc and reward of the sentiments which he fee!s. \\ hi Ie he seems to exist only in others. indeed. such a man. the man who. where idle musing might engenoer disql!ietude and reproach. the man who lind~. it being of the nature of friendshi p to beget a fatal anxiety for a perfea return.. is ignorant of the lengths which the friendship he inspires would go to. is unable. that thel'e remai!lS no unsubstantial void in his breast. to calculate what he \\oldd do for himself. that I have thought proper to hold out benevolence as a surer resource than friendship.

I""'HE most sacred of the moral elements of the world are the ties tll<it bind together parents and their children. On this holy duty is equally poised the Lasis of nature and society. \If FILIAL PIETY. \\hich. prompts us to every thing which virtue can impose. But I have observed. 2H . that. as I uni· formly considered virtue as the basis of the existence of man. in these relations. OF PAREl\"TAL AND CONJUGAL AFFECTION. III. alid nothing short of extreme depravity can make Us spurn at this involuntary instinct.[ 233 J tHAP. I would tOllch upon his dnties and affeCtions only as far as they had relation to his 11a ppiness. formance of one's duties. it therefore now rellJ:lills to examine what enj"yments of sentiment parenb and children may derive fro111 each other. the per. to these ties there is always attached an assured happiness. in the introduCtion to this work.

fortt:ne takes lts place. Parents. that l1e\'Cr admits of an :l!lection of the san:e nature. There is in the. one of them is always stJ'onger. The conduCt of children towards us is never estimated from what we require of them.\ ill1pt:ri \1~ want of reciprocity. but from \\hat we are accllstomed to ex· . and this kind of comparative appreciation is far more easily satisfied. in order to make themselves beloved by their illfant children. have mallY of the advan· tagesan d the inconveniencic. \\hether it be. lity.e attacbments a natural inequa. or that parents feel for their olE pring sentiments more ardent than those which their children are im· pres~ed with for them. and mi.[ 234 • J The saIne principle. or to the same degree. and thereby creates complaints against the other. that cbildren cherish their parents more tenderly than they are beloved by their parents. ofkings: mllch less is ex peeted from children than is done for them: we are flattered with the least effort of kindness on their pJrt: every thing they do for you is appreciated in a relative manner. is ey'::"lly applicable to these aHectio!ll. happiness is tLcn uo more.. in consequences so fruit• ful. Let liS begin with the first supposition.cr attachments of the heart: if the sOld :"e so \\arm~y bent on them a" to experience t1:. as to ali t\]e oti.

and difference of age' is. imagines that he is no longer indebted. therefore. it repines at the limited powers of man in loving: how. per· haps. the heart is disgusted. and it is much Jess difficult to raise an agreeable surpri.[ 235 J prCl. Parents. They are desirous to be judged of by what they conceal: they are desirous that their rights should be attended to. can produce but a temporary effecr.e to ha bit than to the imagination. • tion. almcst invariably assume that kind of dignity which conceals it· self. neither knolV how. and with- draw!. at the moment that they themselves are prepared to forget them. the reason why they never draw themselves • . even at the moment when it leaves nothing unobtained. their inexhaustible source. that· loves to usurp. He who loves. should it endure to be kept voluntarily at a certain di~t:ll1ce? The heart ail11!l at equality. and if we are continually for keeping up differences and superiorities. Sentiment. it drops its charaCter of deference and submission. daily pants after new conquests. to adopt this new system. as much from c:l!cuJation as from inclina. nor are they scarrcly ever disposed. But this enchantment. then. he rates benefits much lower than sentiment. mean time. Parents. like all others. and when gratitude is changed into real tenderness..

because they will never ack:lO\\ ledge it.r own life as concluded. the new.rents with a secret llloroseness. hen p.l!l!rell must ap]". .!y in the light of successors.ir to (hem me:.re"t.ed by th:lt term. bl. an h. but to whom you are not bound do\\n: in a word.:. n~ost Su) of rivals. in ordel' to espo'.01l3.i.. what I am about ~o say will.1l roncc!l\l'cd \"ithin themselves. 1 would al.lppincss which is purcha. tllelr ci. ners that are bound down to you.[ 236 J d0wn to their children without some sacrifice. \\hatever may be the self-devotion of allee. W hwever pllrents harbour' for their children such 21: intense aud thorough affeciion. to look upon the term cf tij. even to themselves. and therefore neglecr to please them. But. Ol friends in whose conduct they observe nothing but ~heir omissions: of mere dependants. tionJtc and re&pectlul children. this is a . as to ii\ e Gilly in them.t selfishness. ~'cl1ja. can ever put up \\it i .:f. upon whme gratitl:de they rely. be suprrfh.. of part. to make their future welfare their only hope. \\ hich they must always experience. in that view. v. of stll~eCts \\ lio a~pire to independence. the interests of their children \\ith all the a: dour of personal identity.born inclinations. ~'othiJlS' however.'. the novel dutie~ that attract them.. £11 their p:.

the generality of parents labour under this habitual mistake: they are over confident in their authority. which. In the second supposition.lry. it is more peculiarly for him \\ ho enjoys the aJvantage of that superiority. seem to require an ncknowledgment of this boulldlessness 01 power. by the attentions which it lavishes on the feebleness of helpless infancy. thJt ill this relation of father to chilJren. the maternal sentiment. by giving a boundless latitude to the idea of their rights. they ".[ 237 J kind of union in which parents. as in every other. In fine. indeed. the sole obstacle that can counteraCt that excess of tenderness with which they would be cherLhed. perhaps the most natural. where either an 1Illusuu!ly mild simplicity marks the cl araC"tcr of parCH ts. ]n cases.Cy soar to a superiOi ity so snpereminent as that their chil· dren are happy rather to worship than obey them. while it is nccess.dso highly amia[Jle. but to the 1110re ordinary situations of life. \\ ithnut being seusible. or \\ here tI. to forego all claims . accustomed. where there exi~ts illly degree of snperiority. these ob~el'vations are of no avail.cs. though they assume it. and not to such. is . to shew a dependance of sentiment. of which. on the contrary.ere previously intended to apply. they do not attempt to avail them• 8rlv.

ther it be that. unex. we vie\l" them as starting into the career of life. the felicities of sen timen· tal enjoyment fade away. awakens enjoyments the most lively and the must pure. of . that infancy is the rera of life.[ 238 ] to a return. that as soon as the call for reci procity is felt. But the reality of events soon holds up our children to us in a far diflerent light: \Ie behold them as educated by us. but of others from hope. but so lamentalJly true is it. and that which we flatter our· selves \\ e shall enjoy. \\ hich breathes into the breast of most parents the most liveJy attachment. whe. and liable only to those of fate. \Ie experience at once all that is most delightful both in reality and in iiJusion. the absolute dominion we then exercise over our children identifies them with ourselves. which carry with them all the charaCteristics of passion. \\' here are the parents. while the hand of time conducts liS to the back-ground. all that we expect from children being" only in the bud of hope. the immediate sentiment we feel. \Ie look upon them as thinking of us only from recolleftion. or that their dependance on us in. spires a kind of interest more attracting than even the successful efforts which they owe only to themselves. Under these impressions. posed to the storms of the internal commotions of the soul. or whether. but for others. not for ourselves.

as to enable them to rE'gard the passions of yOllth as they do the amusements of childhood. In fine. but it is far easier to instil your opinion:. successive generations. The mirror that illverts the objeCts it represents. :-IS the . and to cbeck any rising desire to bear a greater part ill the olle than in the other} Education most undoubtedly exerts a powerful infl uence over the disposition and the mind. The self of your rhild is made up of ) our in· stl'llctions. being often doomed. to ex ist simultaneously. your cOlllmands have no longer the same asccnJ:lllt over him: you have formed a Illan. of the persons \~ith whom you have sur· rounded him: but though in every thing you Illay discover the traces of your fostering hand. hut "".[ iZ9 ] wisdom so sedate. does not so Etrallge!y misshape the face of things. by the duration of the life of man. in the reciprocity of scntiment they exaCt from each other. fathers and children forget.hat he has borrowed from you has oecollle himself. from what different points of "jew their eycs survl:Y the world. of the books yOLl have given him to read. and contributes as much as your reflections to build his independence. into your pupil than to inspire him with your will.

rare. The ascendant of nature ind of duty. none. There is no other attachment. \'. be annihibtrd: but as soon as we come to love our children with a passionate fondness. without alienating their affections: for it is in nin to attempt to sacrifice their lovc to the hope (If brin g: useful to them by precept. of all the eveuts of their life. hich constitutes the principal grounds of this connection.[ ':l40 J period of age. in order to regulate the lives of their children. than tl·e method which they ought to pursue. cannot. therefore. indeed. • The afleCtion of children for their parents is compouuded.'ree of delicacy. on the part of parents.inates with the power or sentiment: it is veT:. that we hit the just mc· dilll" in the duties \\hich this relation pre· scri Lt:s.ere is nothing which requires a greater de. if 1 Illay so speak.£. as ewry permanent influence over their conduCt terli. therefore. which places them in the future or in t Ill' past. rious. in the camFosition of which there enters a greater number of causes foreign to \\ hat captivates the heart. the en· joyment of which is more uncertain and preca. we stand in need of something altogether ditlereu t from \1 hat they . there is. T!.

il:::. and i$ thereby at once both more noxious and more I. who loves most ardently. because it comes accompanied with an idea of authority. and in the sentiment we·thus harbour for them. by this very sl1lJeriority. 2 I .C 241 J owe us . the independence of the other: and how much more powerfuliy does not this inconvenience occur in the relations of parents to their children? The more claims are they possessed of. this exaction of a return. but as soon. however. it can no longer rest upon itself. the more cautiously should they avoid enforcing them. rants to their children. It would seem as if the person. it must necessarily • exert its action upon others. we run the same risql1es as those we are exposed to from the affections of the soul: in a word. this exaction of reciprocity proves still more baneful in the relation of pa. the bane and destruCtion of-the only celestial blessing which man enjoys. it bestows the enjoyments either of love or of friend.atural. Wherever conjugal affe5tion prfv~. if they desire to be loved. this call for reciprocity. the faculty of loving. as an affection becomes strongly passionate. All the equality that exists in the sentiment of love is scarcely sufficient to reo move from its solicitude for a return the idea of some kind of right. attacks.

however. finish. "'i/"ry. especially if we but attena to the variety of impressions which a day may pro. every moment. as. there is an happiness in having entered into that part.ship. in this connection something peculiar. tions of youth to come in ?1Utual endeavours to the alleviation of that death \\ hich commences in the very middle of life: but independently of all that may be so easily conceived respecting the difficulty of suiting each other. both in good and in evil. the multiplicity of relations of every kind that result from common interests. ficulties \\ hich may extinguish for ever a:l that ~o • . There is some happiness in having discovered in the path of life sllch circum· stances. nership sul1iciently early to enable the recollec. I haye already analysed. stead of opposing them to each other. which ollght not to be left unexplored. there. calls II p a variety of occasions for wounding each other's feelings. start up certain dif. however. without the assistance even of sen~timent. ~hich. in. but both the one and the other. and in what is generally called bouse. person can pretend to know beforehand the length to which may be drawn the history of each day. duce. by destroying it. though they do not originate in sentiment. unite and blend together two sdves. There is. I think.

from its nature. keep hilllSelf aloof from the person who loves him. The iron hand of fate incessantly drives man into what is imperfect and incomplete: it seems that. of all the ties.uuion of what is scattered through the world. he is obliged to contess that the very . The conjugal. qualities whieh border/much closer on the pleasures of virtue than on the enjoyments of passion. But in labouringto rear this edifice. in its fullest force. apt to exact a return. happiness isnot impossible. is. merely because Ile is too tenderly beloved. servient. it is necessary to exercise a kind of empire over one's self. inconsistent in his wishes. to be endued with a certain degree of energy. from the very nature of things. It is not unusual to see a man. and while he sees himself the oLjelt to which every sacrifice is made.. one advantage excludes another which doublrd it in value. and every desirable quality stands sub. and this exaction banishes the affeCtion which we are eager to inspire. influence of that connection. therefore. [ 24·3 ] is exalted in sentiment. is that wherein there is least probability of enjoying the romantic happiness of the heart: in order to preserve peace under the. the \\ished-for perfeClion might be attained. that from a re. Sentiment. and a readiness to make sacri fiees. one stone oversets another.

\\hat strain of admonition can theec then be dra\\ n from these refieei ions? The conclusion which I have already advanced is. • . of a peculiar disposition.[ '244 ] excess of this attachment to him is sufficient to obli[erate every vestige of its blessings. or of the attachment of another heart. is never a resource existing within ourselves. many of the miseries attendant upon passion. \Yhat inference. of whatever nature it may be. that ardent souls suffer from rriend~hip. and from the ties of nature. and that beyond the line of duty and of the enjoyments \\ hich we can derive from our own reflections. senti· ment. • . it invariably places happiness at the mercy of chance.

is the offspring of gen uine philosophy. I T is not my object to describe religion by all the various excesses that accompany fanaticism. not· withstanding the uncertainties that surround it. as \\ ell as to every other which is occasioned by the ascendancy of an opinion: neither is it my intention to speak of those reo ligious notions lIpan which tangs the only hope that cheers the close of our existence.'. and it is by the consideration of all the resources which man can derive from his reason. The theism of enlightened men.. besides.[ 245 ] CHAP. . . - OF RELlCdO. This is a su bjeCl: \\ hich the observations of ages and the disquisitions of philosophy have exhausted. what I have already said respecting the spirit of party is applicable to this phrenzy. and of souls of sen· sibility. that he must weigh this idea. too grand in itself not to be still of an immense weight. IV.

[ 246 ]

But religion, in its general acceptation, sup. poses an unshakeable faith, and whoever has received from heaven this profound conviCtion, can find no void in life; this faith suffices and fills all its vacuities. In this respeCt, indeed, the influence of religion is truly powerful, and in this very same respect ought it to be considered as a gift as little dependent upon one's self, as beauty, genius, or any advan. tage or faculty which we hold from nature, and which no human effort can produce. And how could it be in the power of the \ViII to direCt our disposition with regard to religion? In matters of faith it is impossible that \\ e act: upon ourselves; thought is indi· \' isi ble: we cannot detach one particle from it to make it work upon anoth"er; \\ e hope or \\ e fear, we doubt or we believe, acc.ord· ing to the struCture of our mind and the na· ture of the combinations which it engenders. After having fully established that faith is not a faculty which it depends upon ourselves to acquire, let us examine with impartiality how far it may be conduciv~ to happiness, and begin \\ith the more prominent advantages which it holds forth.

[

247]

The imagination is the most ungovernable of all the moral powers of man: he is alter. nately tormented by his desires and his doubts. Religion opens a long career to hope, and marks out to the will the precise path it should pursue: under these two points of view, it is highly consolatory to the mind; its futurity is the reward of the past, and as it makes every thing tend to the same end, it gives to every thing the same degree of interest. Life passes away, as it were, within ourselves; external circumstances serve only to exercil;e an habitual sentiment: what may happen, is nothing; the determination we have taken, is all; and this " determination, continually under the dominion of a divine law, can never have Illade the mind ex perience a moment of uncertainty. Once secured against the intrusion of remorse, we can never know those regrets of the heart and of the mind, that reproach us even with the work of mere chance, and which judge of our resolutions by their effeCts. .tvliscarri:lge and success afford to the comcience of the devout neither pain nor satisfaction. Religious morality leaves nothing vague 01' unsettled as to the actions of life; their deci. sion is al ways sim pIe. \Vhen a true Christian

[ 248

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has discharged his duties, all search after hii happiness is over: he makes no enquiry into th~ nature of the lot that has fallen to him: he knows neither what he has to desire, nor what he has to fear; his only certainty regards his duties. The noblest qualities of the soul, generosity, sensibility, far from repressing all internal contentions, may, in the bustle and struggle of the passions, oppose to each other affections of equal force; but religion furnishes a code which prOVides a law to regulate, under all circumstances, what aCtions we have to , perform. In the present, every thing is fixed; in the f utme, every thing is indefinite: the soul, in fine, experiences a state of being a1 ways calm and unruffled, that is, never aroused by any thing vivid and impressive,she is encompassed by an atmosphere that suffices to light her in the dark, though it be not as resplendent as the day; and this state, by rescuing her from misery, saves, after all, at least two·thirds of our mortal life. If such be the advantages of religion in the ordinary lot of man, if it thus makes up for the enjoyments of which it deprives tiS, it must be of sovereign utility in dcsrerate situations.

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When a man, after tl~e perprtration of some heinous crime, beCllllll'S immediately :i1iyc to the stings of true remorse, such a situation of the soul must prove unsupportable withollt assistance and relief from supernatural Ilotion£. Undoubtedly, the most efficacious of all kinds of repentance would be the performance of virtuous actions; but at the close of lIfe, or even in the morning of youth, where is the guilty person that can hope to perform as much good as he has committed wickedness? \\' hat sum of happiness can be equivalent to the intenseness of the pain? \Vho is armed with sufficient strength to attempt expiations by blood or tears? An ardent devotion mayappear sufficient to the imagination of repentant guilt; and in these deep and dreary solitudes, where the Carthusian monks :md tt,e monks of La Trappe acloptcci a mode of life so contrary to reason, these converted criminals found a state of existence which best suited the agitation of their souls. Perhaps, even men, whom the vehemence of their nature might have driven to the perpetration of enormous crimes, by having thus delivered themselves up, from their infancy, to religious fanaticism, may have bu. ried, in the gloom of cloisters, that fire of ima· ~inatiol1 which subverts empires and desolates 2 K .

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the globe. It is by no means my intention to encourage, by these reflections, institutions of that kind; but they are made with a view to shew, that passion, under all its forms, is the most formidable enelllY of man, and that it alone raises all the difficulties that perplex and harass his journey through life. In tl1at class of society which is devoted to mechanical bbour, the imagination is L~ewisc the faculty, the effeCts of which are most to be dreaded. I cannot pretend to say that reI igious faith has been extinguished in the breast of the French people: but if so, it will be difficult, in· deed, to restore to them all the real enjoyments which they derived from that idea. T he revolution, for some time at least, in a great measure supplied their place. Interest was, at first, one of the principal charms by which it fasci. nated the people; nor was it less attranive from the bustle and agitation which it infused into common life. The rapid succession of events, the various emotions they awakened, produced a kind of intoxication, from the rapidity 01" this hurried illotion, which, by quickening the pace of time, left no sensation of a void, nor even of the anxieties that accompany tbe con" sciousness of existence.

[ 2.51

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Habit has led us, too generally, to suppose that the ambition of the populace was limited to the possession of physical advantages; but they have been found passionately devoted to the revolution, because it attorded them the pleasure of intermeddling in public ,dEdI's, of influencing their direc1ion, of participating in their success. All the passions that agitate idle speculative men were betrayed and evinced by those \\ho were familiar only with the necessity of labour, and with the value of the wages it produced. But when the established fo.rm of any government whate\'er shall bring back three-fourths of the community to the exercise of those occupations which daily ensure a sllb. sistence for the morrow; when the disorder and confusion attendant upon a revolution shall no longer give each individual the chance of obtaining all the advantages of fortune, which opinion and industry had, during the lapse of ages, accumulated ill an em pire of twenty-five millions of men, what treasure can there be held out to hope, which, like religious faith, can proportion itself to the desires of all those who wish to drink at its source? How powerful the magic of that idea which at once can· tains and con fines ollr actions within the closest circle, \\ hile it gratifies :passion in all its wild

[ 2SZ

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and boundless cravings of hope, of an object and of futurity?

If the a"e in which we live be the ~ra when the reasonings of philo~()phy have most funda. men~311y shook the possibility of an implicit belief, it I11l'st also be confes,ed that the present times have likel\ise e:-..hihited the most strikillg
~

proofs of the power and inG uenee of religion.

The mind has incessa.:tly before its C.I e tlte siGht of those innocent vifl ims II ho crll· IIv pe· o • ri5hcd unGer a reign of terror and oi blood, dragging after them all that they held de,lr in this wor~d. louth. beauty, VIrtue, taiellts, were, by a pOII'er more arbitrary, and not less inel'ocable than fate, promiscLlously plunged into the night of the grave. The ancients spurned at the terrors of death from an utter disgust of life. But II e have seen youths, women, whose l:ature it is to be timid; • who bd scarcely escaped from the years of childhood; hushands and wives, who, in their mutual love, enjoyed every thing that life can afford, and for \\ hich alone its loss can be reo gretted; all these have lIe seen ;]c1vancing un. appa]]ed towarns eternity, which they nit! not seem to believe could ~eparate thclll, without once recoiling at the view of that abyss where

for. the character of ill/lIllitable.hiolled itself for the enjoyment of every felicity. ftrings of life. and fortune. for \\ hom the ordinary lot of mortals seemed to have been expanded and ennobled. in order to secure to him alone the power of dispensing it alle\\'. 1101' so much as hinted to his thoughts the pas. in this exalted rank and supercmiuent situation.[ 253 J imagination shudders at its own creations. nor the cast of his character. had prepared or inured him to the shafts of misfor• • . As neither ]lis lot in life. stilI facing more intrep. and though liluch less weary than we with the ~uf.Jly the approaching horrors of death. in favour of his race. hi" soul had fcu. there has appeared a Dian lipan whose head every earthly prosperity had been showered dol'l' n. \\hich for a length of ages had assumed. lIlo:1arch of twenty-five millions of l11ell. and to have ~ven borrowed and realized some of the golden dreams of imagination. sibilityof pain j wholly unacquainted with the sense of remorse (for Ilis conscience taught him to believe he was virtuous) there never even glallced upon his breast any impressions but such as were peaceful and serene. • Finally. never held out to his refieClions even the chance of adversity. he bad en· trusted to his own hands the whole llJass uf their aggregate ha ppiness.

the first burst of a revolution un paralleled in the annals of mankind: every passion was armed against him. who did not possess sufficient energy for the assertion of his power. versity: this man. however.oment when his misfortunes were left \\ ilhout a hope. and who left doubts concerning his courage. as long as he seemed to want it in reo pelling his enemies: this man. and the heroism of philosophy \\ as compelled to bow the head before ~ . for he resolved to sufler and to die. wbose timid and \\ avering disposition did not permit him either to confide in the counsels of others. religion alone as yet triumphed. or \\ holly to adopt his own: this man. it was natural to suppose that his mind must have sunk under the first gust of ad. Lewis X\T found himself seated on the throne durin:. and vied with each other in working his destruction. displayed a soul capacious of the sternest resolutions. that the power of faith fully dispbyed itself in the conduct of Lewis: the strength of that unshaken conviction did not permit even the shadow of weakness to be perceived in his mind.tune. in himse:r alone he imagined he beheld all the notions and principles against which waf was made: amidst this ero\\ d of dan gel's he persisted in listening to no guide but the maxims of a superstitious piety. but it was at tLe n. on a sudden.

\\iil not permit me to be accused of giving but a faint colouring of the influence of religion: I am far. from thinking that. to consider reiigioll in its political relations. howe\-cr. that is. which. the being thus absorbed in faith. or even a sigh. independent of the inutility of the endeavour. in this first part of my work. ascend iI/to beal'Cl/. I trust. we might make within ourselves. that it is but fair to suppose that even this his last moment was not influenced by the terrors of death. betraying. Candollr. in the advan~ tages that may result from it towal-ds the stabi- . to my su bjed. such were the raptures of religion with which his soul was swelled. and the awful instant when these sublime words." allY thing like insen~ibility for t::c o1>jeOs of his atfetTion.' were addressed to his ears. in this rcspe~q. on the contrary. \\ ithout. t S01& '1 St. he retraced back all the steps that led him from the throne to the scaffolcJ.[ 255 J the dignity of his simple resignation. Lewis. nevertheless. \Vithout a gro:llJ. it is foreign. moreover. should be ranked among the means which conduce to the happiness of mankind. He submitted \\ith calm 11l1concern to an the decrees of fate. ment of his death. al1 the far-lIlties of his life scemed revived and re-illvigorated at the mo.

he cannot help feeling scruples about his doubts. from devo. however. it being here simply Iny intention to tOllch lipan it as far only as it mayaffeCl the happiness of individuals. or a regret at having sO far delivered up his life to uncertainties. and at inten'als. gifted with an enlightened understanding. hIS duty to employ it only on certain conditions. The heart be· comes as contracted as the mind. that he must either acknowledge to hilllself the inutility of his past eXIstence. which is a sort of extravaQunce of the mind that discovers itself under \'ariolls hues. properly so called.ation in the breast of him. And. tion. is felt n0t \infrequently to awaken a secret and painful ser:\. \\ ith coubts respecting every thing that is contrary to reason. deems it. tl1.[ 256 ] lity and the happiness of the social state. ~ \Vhen devotion owes its origin to mbfortune. or still continue to sacrifice the remainder. in the first p]:!ce.. when excess of suffering sinks the soul into a state of faintness that disables it from • .t disposition to which the mind must be moulded in order to admit the dogmas of certain religions. who. but impressed occasionally.

aff(lrd some relief to those minds that ha\'e 1I0t sufficient strength to support what ingredients of passion enter into the composition of their charaeter. what prohibits from loving wil h the unchecked fcrw'ncy of the \\ hole soul. All these devices to pal!i'lte or diminish suffering (llight neither to incur censure. is widely diflercnt in it~ effcCls upon mankind from that which is considered as the end to which everv • • thin!!: tends. gination. as Fontenc11c \I ill have it. indeec:. at least. some sort of tl. qlle l'all:rlir a passe par la. but tllat cxtril\'i1gant. influence and prevail on the ima. And. that love has been thrre.ollgHs. nor be creAcd into a general rule. We solicit to be forhid what it was not in our power to avoid.[ 25i J raising itself by its OWI1 unassisted strength. something enthu"iastic like passioll. or. instead or amJrding him a rcsource.lir1llcd ~rre:Sions. which. like passion. anti 8S what constitutes the basis ef life. to the extinetion of semibility. tion which fOfms a p3rt of a man's charaCler. This kind of oevr-tion is always redolent of its origin. sensibility prevail> on us to admit wllat tend:. 2L . high. aild it is eVident. Reason thus enters into an unequal contest with the impas. it is nothing else than still con tin uing to love under a difIerent torm.flying devo.

they rest satisfied: there are. Underthe influence of this devotion. Chara{j ers. under the shelter of what is called devotion. tinguish our uatural good qualities. and \\ho obey nothing but where abe. beneficence with generosity. may. dience is enforced. however. feel themseh'es more at their ease to indulge in certain failings that violate none of the laws. -hat is commanded.lnd cdict! forth by • . Justice dispemes with beneficence. endued with natural good qualities. un. whatever they posse-s of spontaneous and involuntary. of which the\' have formed for themselves a cone. there are services. and where it requires a real sacrifice to be made. there are condescensions. circum. which never can be obtained at the hands of those \. ho square every thing by the rille of duty. But there are kind· nesses. tLat arc ccveloped by principles :.~ L 0 -8 _J J It is its almost inv&riable tendency to ex·. a man may be virtuous.im pulse. and if they bd pay up the balance of their ollties. any omission of Pe\ and \\ • performance is lawful. without the prompting impulse of native goodness. there mav even OCCIT circumstances in which the • severity of certain prinrip!es forbids us to yield to this prompting. • stances in Ere where such or such a virtue is clearly commanded. is incompatible \\ itl~ fixed established rt:les upon every ohject. \\ hich helong to almost evcry instant of life. Natnral gond qualities.

According to an expression of Dryden. in mere obedience to his nature: he who praCtises every genuine virtue. so thoroughly does he aCt from his own spontaneous impulse. He who never feels it necessary to • enquire into \\ hat duty prescri bes. that as devotion pro. but natural Illorality draws down an angel lIpon earth: . it may also be imagined. never swells with the consciousness of a triumph. as his conduct never reo quires the exertion of an effort or struggle. without previotlsly imposing that praCtice upon himself. devotion may be said to raise a mortal to the skies. While we acknowledge the advantage thus enjoyed by cllaraCters that lean to virUle from their own natural unprompted inclinations.• C259 J sentiments of morality. differently applied. because he can trust to his own internal suggestions. therefore. duces a general and positive eftc·: i. or. but it is . are of a much higher and more refined nature than the virtues of devotion. he. He rais'J a mortal to the skies. and who values himself the less. and whom one might suppose to be a less rational being. She arew an angel down. as it were. he indeed may be pronounced a truly virtuous man. because. it mllst af. • 1 • ford more certain and more undorm reslllts 111 the general association of mankind.

JCilCeS \1 here the disposition is what \\ e call i7i.po\\crlul influence over nJortal li:'e..L:. in. be more prop: . it aniOng fortunate contingEllcics than in tLe rJ:l~ or erhL:lcious counsels..[ 260 J s::I1. by realizing what remained . that I do not co. :.. float ill the unsuostaLtiaJ void of the mind. which \lias to decide trIJ~ m:m would be more surely . \l'hich ellnoble the CEO Ili~jJO\:[ i!JrlUtllung thl' Jetaib of life.'S!(!l d.eilt aad to tLoll~ht fcr.b of repm. and that nothing suits their tcmpl'f I. :ing (kgli.i. Ci. howP\'er. and (V en were it attended with nOll::. attended \\ ith gre:lt incanve. ing the fligbts of ima. and declares itself incompetent to think: as if there existed in rea~o:J something superior to itself. It mi~~. r. ill class.J'. There is now merely question of th"e r •. by \\ hich it abdicates its own power by its oll"n last aCt. notl\ ithstandiilg.as \1 hich ami religion \l'ith a IlI!.c vast al. as I have already oboernJ. ArceTlt minds are but too prone to imagIne that the exerci~eofjudg1l1ent is of no avail.e ill t!.c:y.l:i.P.\ .t be necess:!. 'u:d.y~~ of i: firy.£tter than a kind of suicide of reaSOD..c :(' .ry to rep~t. aml \' i:it j: .:.O!c. at:s .r. 0. tf:cre II. i:lvestigatioll those religi.ination by the terrors of ill co ill pre hen.C!! !].entin.s~ in tLi.'a'> of an higher on~e~. and by cbeck.i oility.

it lIlay be misled by every kin d of extravagance. by which its exercise is considerably restrained. and subjects even goodness to certain principles. of itliJlIlil/atioll. these shu'les of di5crimination in sentiment and passion. . of pietism. but weh as can check the vagaries of imagination. lor though there relll.C261 J guided by another of his own faculties. den t winds are naturally satiated with what i~. and. stition. there~ are no longer any bounds to limit this creative pruriency. satis· fied with nothing but extremes. and proceed to mentioll the exali" pIes that still remain of intolerant super. be alia wed that i. Nor is it tile lll"nd alolle that errs. I might now relinquish these ideal distinctions. it spurns the idea of every thiug that is subje. The affeaions of the heart.1 to modifica.~in in the heart crrtain virtlioliselllotions which error cannot suppress. however. Ar. for it then \'ings its wildest nights. [Jut more partie cularly by that of devotion.'aslllllch a~ ~etlli· ment depends upon reflectioll. whieh are inseparable fro:n truth} are necessarily dIstorted from their nature by errors of \\ hatever kind. and of all . it 111ust. and when once they bring themselves to admit \\ lIa: is 511perna:ural. which concellters every thing within itself alone. tions.

those v:lrious means. I think I ha\'e veen right in not admitting reo ligion into the class of the resources which we derive from ourselves.ark out the path that leads to the extreme of error. the efficacv of which I am now about to unfold. and because it su bjects us to the dominion of our own imaginatioll. because it is absol utely independent of our \\ ill. I thought it incum bent on me to prefer. Iari ze. when we see these ill el1ecls de. with the sYstem that holds the absolute freedom of • the moral agent to be his chief good. and to particu. from the struggle of man against time. and to that of all those to whose holy and aweful authority we are taught to bow. • . and from the insufficiency of n:ortul life to content us. tem upon \\ hich this work is grounded. as the best and surest preservative at'uinst misfortune.[ 262 J those miserable effeers which arise from the va. we il1\'ariably look upon the piCture as wholly foreign to our· scI Yes. and as no Olle can persuade himself that he \\ ill be guilty of it. In whatever point of view 1 have surveyed it. Everyone is struck with the inconveniencies of excess. cuities in our existence. Anxious to continue consistent with the sys. scribed in moral works. but it is the province of the moralist simply to n.

.. such. ------WE DO NOT STAKD III SUFPICIENT DREAD OF MISFORTUNE BBFORE IT BBFAL~S US • T HERE is nothing • which so little resem bles the resources which we possess within ourselves.-+--- OF THE RESOURCES WHICH WE POSSESS WITHl:. Whether it be considered in a good or an evil light. 1.. Self... at least. or otherwise to eradicate. -.. it absorbs our faculties. CHAP.-~ .. moreover. is a disposition of the soul wholly independent of our will : to be infl uenccd by it reo .::: • ..= .love. as selfishness. It is an alTeCtion..:. -.-..[ ~63 ] . may so far be produCtive of some enjoyments. whose ob· ject. Selfishness constitutes a character which it is impossible either to amend by advice. without ensuring that kind of enjoyment which is al ways inseparable from self-sacrifice. SFeTION THE THIRD. as I understand them.. by being never absent or faithless. but it is also accompanied with deep-felt anxieties j and like a passion that has another for its ob.Ot:RSELV:lS.. ject.

' whatever does not coincide with that subject. In a word. towards their own hap. Doubtless.or awakens it.. but never agitates . • There is noquestion of the resources which we mav discover within .e affeCtions of the soul. impassioned characters are never susceptible of wh:lt is called selfishness: they impetuously rush fOf\\'ard. nor are they ever aCtuated by that prudent and sensual self· satisfaction which quiets and composes the soul. if despair ". .hich we would be more eager to avaw ourselves..[ 261 ] • quires no effort on our part: we are. or instil into ourselves any particular inclination.ourselves after the • storm of the more vehement passions is blown over. impelled towards it. But as the present work is devoted to 'the study and delineation of. expose themselves'in order to procure it. piness. Were we early impressed with the notions I have endeavoured to unfold in my analysis of tl. impassio11ed characters. mllst be deemed foreign to its purport. because it results from a number of self-sacrifices: but to say that we can give ourselves a taste for a thing. on the contrary..'as always to reo .. on the contrary. • • . are expressions that involve contradiction. resources of . it is true. Wisdom may be acquired. but it is never within themselves that they seek it: they.

more boldly :systernati:ted: ' He. speedily relieves us from the anxiety we experience. it is...' the image of grief is inseparable from a kind of sympathizing sensibility. without fear. which: mingles a charm with evety impression thatwe feel: but it is too frequently enough to have at:. 2M • • • ~ . reptese9t ad~ versity to us as a piCl(lre where. and ont of the nature of the •situation that has faHen to our lOt. theli that it arise~ out of our defeCts. run every possible' ha-zard in the purSuit of what he deeins p. the career of all the passionS'.'~rfeCt happiness: but the man who can brave' misfortune has: never laboured beneath its pressure. solve upon suicide. the course of man's life would then be fixed. ten. it is then that it humbles our pride. In our. and"mlght therefore be . might then.fifth year~ in order to have entered that period of misFortune which is traced in. . tained our twenty. without the mind being ~ble to comprehend it. Tragediesi and other'w~rks of imagInation.[ 265 J .. derer youth. or some fortunate sacrifice. but doath.· It is then tha't the duration of misfortuheis as long as that of life. • • • This' dreadful word. misfortune. is listened to in the earlier days of youth. and frets -our sensi.. beauty and courage display their powers.

nothing is 51? extravagant and frantic as the plans we pursue in order to'subdue it. lSome gesture. strates. scarcely a rilinute paS:ies btit some word. but which.becomes a new misfortune which we pav~ inwardly to lament.. Against this pain we . they always turn upon 'our predominant suff'er. 'Ve constrain our thoughts.ing. as if we struggled under the paws of some huge. being wholly unable to divert or beguile them.- ." ~ • . and the impraClicability 9f them all. strikes us as i(it wereunex. we find every where. nevertheless. even the most sirilple expressions remind us of what we already know. which refleCl:ioJ1 clearly demon. daily holds up to us' tbemirror 'of our misfor. it seems to frustrate and render impraClh:able even the very resolutions that cannot have the least ~elation to it. ~ous monster.C266 J bility. Night i~ the only thing we long and Ioo~ for during the whole of the day. tunes. the very progress of life becomes a labour and atrouble that does liot allow a single instant of repose. enol'.then direct the whole of our ende!l~IO~r8. nay ofour most intimate acquaintances. and to awake again is an excruciating blow that rouzes us every morning to the contemplation of oul. pe8:ed: if we form any projeCls. persons. The behaviour towards us of indifferent . the pain which this occasions. we are overpowered and oppressed by this sole idea.

• • C 267- J us .. • • Th~ consolations of· friendship only play - npon the surface. even while we are speaking of another. it easy to conceive how We can bring ourselves to detain the attention of others with the tale of our distresses. but whose impression is. except it be that of love.ct of our distresses. .ute. for what advantage. we are occupied \yith ourselves.every morning strikes with the effect of surprise. ir1~. or by some great effort of courage. sufficiently lively and ac. nor does the person 'who loves us the most sincerelv. what 'conso. to corrode the inward heart. glndlyobtain the pause of aday. lation can there be derived from it? Grief strikes a deep root. they are thoughts. which. nor is . . however. dispirits resolution. the respite of • • . that have not in them sufficient reality to be embodied in expression. deed. We feel ourselves pursued and pressed upon by the consciollsness of existence as by a poisoned dagger. and can be eradicated only by some singular event. conceive the thousandth part of the thoughts that busy our mind on the subje. and then. misfortune. When the pressure of misfortune has weighed upon us for a length of time. . and makes us as \\ earisome to ourselves as we are importunate to others. We would. that jades and . it carries with it something that dries lip the heart.

in or~er to retrieve our 6trel\$~h. and this selfdeHadation benumbs the soul.t that we may again be enabled to wage the'-war • within.tion j whiie new reo fleCtions suddenly spring up. In. without abating any thing of the energy of grief. nor can \\e discover a single resting point. we can Bnd it in no situation: we are anxious to fly from what we feel. He who can suit his soul to melancholy. but the effort whi<. tions. selves up in thought.' ad. of repose. vance towards it. in order to sub. rable. in order to shut out sen satiom. Imagination has taken • possession of every thing within us: grief meets llS at the turn of every refiee.obstruc.er. The horizon flies before' us in proportion as \\1. but thought serves only to multiply them: in fine. V"i:l co we look for some' posture. such a man cannot properly be called mise. but we only endeavour to rise while oppressed with a burden: we would fain combat while embarrassed by self. without. ceasing to take an interest in himself. which likewise give birth to a new train of sufferings.h thi:> anxiety suggests only adds to our agitation. and placidly consign himself to grief. ev.• C!68 j an hour. how. we soon begin to persuade our· selves that our faculties are decayed. a man must be • o ~ • . To be really miserable-. 'VI. upon which we might lean. ourselves. due what surrounds us.' endeavour to wrap our.

who are anxio\ls ' to ape the appearances of passion. or. Men of frigid dispositions. are often • • . be found a man who would fastidiously reject a system which professed to have no other objeCt than to avoid suffering. be accompanied with something sullen and gloomy. and that leaves it open but to one impression. sations that are so deeply inherent ill the soul. and constitutes the sole principle of life. and consumes it. If words could adeq\lately express those sen. sOInething that dries lip every source of emotion in the heart. finally. diversions. who are wearied and fatigued with one another: he must have become utterly unsusceptible of all enjoyments. I believe. corrodes. that agitates. that every attempt to express tHem must always take away from their inten!>enessj if we could previously conceive an adequate idea of the na· tUl'e of misfortune.. and have his whole soul engrossed with nothing but his sorrow: it must. as if he were composed of two. he must feel hiniself oppressea by the senne of his being tied to his existence. r 269 J disgusted' \\ith 'himself. Suffering then becomes the centre of aU his thoughts. • • • . of all amusement!> and. there would not. nor can he otherwise recognize himself but by his pains.

who. who are wholly unacquainted \\ith real warmth. I mean the saying of the woman. who thus incessantly hold forth on the advantages of the passions. and far-fetched than a saying that has passed for pretty. r~grettil1g her youtliful days. will appear more false . on the pleasures that may be derived from pain. 1 felt so ~istressed}" • But such an expression would never have be~n vented by a heart that was truly what we call impassioned: they are only your lukewarm languishing dispositions. It is to those who have learnt to dread it that these last refleBions. and nothing. • .. and it is especially to those who suffer that they ran afford any consolation. exclaimed. and on the necessity of experiencing their influence. H tbat ~ indeed iJ.'as an bappy time. heard dilating on the charms of grief. it duly considered.are addressed.[ 270 J '. But by ardent souls they are seriously dreaded: by ardent souls every means are eagerly grasped at that can shdter them from grief.

. he must resolve on relinquishing that last illusion. man must take a position above himself in order to command himself. is . that he may have nothing to expeCt froIU them. ali those whose affairs are . and above others. . . he is then nearer in his approaches to something that resembles it. to supply and fill up every vacuity by thought. When once he has settled within himself that the attainment of happiness is impossible. and in thought to survey the only events which neither depend upon fate or on mankind. PHILOSOPHY. to endure an uni. which. while it bursts and vanishes. form state of body. ing efforts. II. But to avail • • himself of these aids. " . to whose aid I deem it wise that impassiolUd souls should have recourse. of a nature altogether sublime. 05' PHILOSOPHY • • ..[ 271 J • CHAP. carries away with itevel:'Y other. He must have learnt to contemplate life passively. in order to arrive at happiness. . Weary of exerting unavail.

• --. nor does . but which hold out to man scattered. . absorbs them all. which a soul at peace with passion may be disposed to taste i but a vehement passion.lcrifice of his hopes. To the eye of the impassioned man.' her lover can scarcely perceive in it the traces of her footsteps. There are a multitude of partial enjoyments which do not flow from the same source. uncon. . • .it so much as permit thehearUo be conscious of their existence. There is no longer a flower to be discovered in the parterre which a beloved object has passed through. every thing that tends to revive and inspirit them is an unexpel5led be.ruined. neCted pleasures. • . external objects call up but one idea. . can recover no peace of mind Until they have confessed to themselves that they ar. When the ambitious survey'these peaceful hamlets. over which nature has showered her choicest gifts. the possession of which was preceded by no kind of fear. 'I . .:. and whether the peasants that in· habifit have the privilege of electing a deputy. because they sur· . When once he has resolved upon the s. on the contrary.. It only occurs to their Dlind to ask whether the gover.• • ( 272 J embarrassed. . noraf the distriCt c:njoys niuch consid.eration and power. . nefit.

[ 273 ] " veyed and judged of but by one and the same s~ntimeiit. and when none of the events of life has been either preceded or followed by vehement desires. . • . . Are you inclined to submit your existence to the absolute dominion of some one idea. . or of some one sentiment? t~enevei'Y step you niake is obstrhCl:ed by some cibstac1eJ or conducts to some inisforttlne. but is en· abled to enjoy the mild h\lpressions which each of his ideas may alternately and sepat'ately af. whereby he no longer direCts them ali to bne singie objeCt.. then a sufficient share . by the superior energies of his courage. Are you disposed to permit your life to sail on at the caprice of the breeze. ford him.afts over a variety of situations? Are you anxiou~ to procure for each day a'certain portion of pleasure. as the considerati(jn that it discovers no· thing which seems to initrk and otd"ilil1 it for a place Of relit. that gel1t1y \. ' . . There is nothing which may so powerfully conduce to make us regard' life only as a journey. rescues his thoughts ' from the yoke of passion. . Without intending it shOUld contribute to the mass of happiiless that is to compose the whole of your delitiny? This object you may ~asi1y attain. or by bitter regrets.of happines!> may be found in the isolated enjoyments 2N • . bitt the philosopher.

and while we continue to hang with all the ve· • hemence of grief on this nlournful spectacle. then perhaps it might be permitted to run all the chances of the greater passions. on the contrary." amidst the full co"nsciousness of existence. enjoy some portion of happiness j but the same blow does not strike at once our faculties and our desires. as it were. which originate from our faculties. and. which are daily dispensed by the heedless. enfeebles out' faculties without having extinguished our de. if our de. .[ 274} " . . called upon to assist at our own funeral. But as soon as the winter of old age approaches. • . sires. and this transition the philosopher only can endure with unconcern and without pain. we might indeed. that of youth. our desires survive the loss of those pleasures to the enjoyment of which they were wont to hnpel us. If our faculties. sires. The terrors and pangs of dissolution press" home u'pon us. \Ve are. The)apse of time frequently impairs . If the life of man were to consist of but one period or rera. hand of Chance.1ur lot without having enfeebled our faculties. were to run in uniform accord with the tenor of our destiny. The aCtivity of the soul survives the means of exercising it. it points out and requires a new mode of existence. at all periods of life.

' When philosophy assumes the dominion of theso. .- we renew. course: the . its first aCt is. tile Mezen. nor precipitate theil. . degree. within our own breast. . we tie death and life together in one loathsome embrace. the passions he may consign his life. .years roll on in one tranquil flow 1 together with their events. on the other hand. undoubtedly. tion to cut short its thread the moment that ' . . that he who can place sliicide anlong the nuinber 'of his resolves may fearlessly enter and run the career of the passions ~ to.ul. it continues through the whole of life: every moment then suffices to itself. if he be but conscious of sufficient resolu. The passions.C 275 J. . . or average of moderation. I have already observed. agreeably to the intention of nature. to a grea. to depreciate the value both of what we possess and of what we hope to possess. and succeed each other in un undisturbed course. tian punishment. one period of life does not encroach upon the other: nor does the hurricane of the passions disturb their regularity. and give the breast of man to participate in the silent calm of universal order. the prices of every t~ing: but when philosophy has once established this medium. . magnify. ' .

more to our physical than to our moral nature. and that. for want of sufficient resolution to die. can it be conceived an eas)' matter to run the almost certain chance of plu~lging into misery that will mal~e us execrate existence. aided by the intens~ ~n~rgy of one sentiment a~d of on~ s~ngle idea. not because. For. a man must take in the.oweyer.of existing purely and simply. longs. frequently cqrnpels us to preserve a life.. and because misfortune spreads itself over the whole extent of life. ar. r.[ 276 J th thunderbolt of Fate shall have blasted and oestroyed the object of all his wishes and of all his cares. in order to effect the a0 of self. under such a. inspires more horrorth?~ the possibility. but b~cause we must compress into one moment's space all t~e incentives of 9~r grief. and of a disposition of the soul that fills us with the dread of its dissolution? and this. situation We can still have any chaqns. like the speCtacle of his final end. every instant of which is markeO. while the terrors that sui~ide inspires concentrate themselv~s into thy ~pace of an instant: and.murder. which he. I believe. But as a kind of instinct. as it is our fate to he exposed to all the • . • • • • • Nothing.! picture of his misfortunes. in order to struggle against the ever-recurring thought of death.d marred by misfortune.

to enjoy himself in the bosom of retirement. the sweets of which he enjoys. not the result of a triumph. delights . To arrive at that philosophy. As it uniformly arises from depth of reflection. The philosopher. fices to make us cherish that power of philoso. requires an uncommon strength. and affords an enjoyment of one's own faculties. of which the man of insensibility is wholly unconscious: to him the intercourse of the world is better suited than tQ the philosopher: he is under no apprehension that the bustle and tumult of society shall disturb that peace. phy. it argues the possession uf superior qualities. without either attaching him to it too closely. though it dulls the poignancy of piercing pains. which supports man at the level of the events of life. whose aids I am here extolling. Philosophy is not to be mistaken for insensibility.77 J vehement passions. and as it not ullfrequently is inspired by the necessity of combat:ng with our passions. or making him shrink from it with undue abhorrence. who is indebted for that peace to the meditations of thought. both of soul and mind. such an objeCt of dread suf.'C 9. • . Philosophy piainly bespeaks its own origin. . Lut insensibility is a complexional habitude.

flows from the pas. he is wholly engrossed by his selfishness. and is fretfully impatient of every thing that molests him. and if that sentiment could have any energy. and which. ties. But the felicity which the philosopher derives from self.ires many attentions from them. by a -. all the contrary. that exercise its facul. and by renouncing all attempts at influencing the lot of mankind. as it were. of all tile sentiments that which renders a man most completely independent. it WOUiLl be marked with all the charaCteristics of a vehement passion. bear~ no resemblance to the pleasures enjoyed by the selfish man. we raise oursehes. we take a more vivid satisfaction • • . but in the presence of our conscience. he stands in need of others.pos. he reql. to some distance above ourselves. accompanied. from whence we may look down and observe how we think and how we live.[ 278 J The satisfaCtion which. by a real enjoyment. however. we may consider them as so many modifications of our being. It is no longer in a relation to our destiny. 5ession of one's self.ariety of ways.ession is. that we pl~ce ourselves. ~ By the aid of a kind of abstraCtion. . . acq\lired by meditation. accelerate the progress of self-petjeEtabitity. and as it is not the objeCt of philosophy to controlll events.

clines us. the enjoj'" ment of which seems to have preceded even the necessity of society. tude is a source of enjoyment to thephiloso. a. Not only is living solitarily the most perfea of all states. then the philosopher is the happy man. because it is the most independent. its source is so. piness. That rest to which nature in. inward and home-felt. that when we' are in real possession' of it. . refleCtion draws us 'Still nearer to the certainty of its. and which seems to be the imme. But forsQuls thlit are tossed aIid agitated by vehement passions. that of self. pher.more necessary after we have lived long in society.dominion. diate destination of man. • • .. that.. and through the operation of that power we daily make some successful alteration or dbcovery in the only property over which we can be conscious of possessing any influence or rights. enjoyment.( 279 J in the exercise of the power we have reserved to ourselves. but also because the satisfaaion that is to be derived from it is the very touchstone of hap.rest. solitude is a truly 'peril~ ous situation. But this is a kind of occupation that requires a state of solitude. . and if it be true that soli. that very rest becomes the torment .nd which becomes still .

which remains unchanged.. Characters of an impassioned cast. it surrounds itself with chimeras: in 5ilence and retirement. the imagination not being aCted on by any thing o . renity exists only around him. vates its pain. though every thing that could enflame it had been removed. sion instead of extinguishing it. trasts with his inward agitation. The first mo· ments that the heart gives a loose to its reveries are attended with a ch2rming delight. it forcibly Con . fQr. before an attempt has been made at living alone. Diversion is the method that ~hould be first essayed. must not begin at close quarters. ought already to have acquired some empire over ourselves. imagine~ it maY' alleviate its pain by dwelling on it more intensely. far from dreading solitude. The imagination. but this is but all additional proof that solitude foments their pas. [2W J of a man that is under the dominion of a vehe. indeed. In thig state of loneliness and desolation. in order to mitigate the violence of a vehement passion. are. carries to an extreme all the proba. as this calm se. on the contrary. bilities of unhappiness. prone to court it. we . The struggle . ment passion. annoyed by the sentiments that oppress it. but this is an enjoyment that soon exhausts and consumes. And. • The soul. and even aggra.

com. Solitude. 2g fbI' the philosopher. in its ultitl1ate effect. eager to escape fronl the present. furnishes a new proof of the fatal infl uenee of the passions. contrary. and though their source derives from the nature of 1uan. [ 281 ] real. . For w hen tossed amidst . ph. The rulinjS idea that commands it. on • th~ . his reso· lution frequently deserts him. and the Lest ea· . it gives an equal degree of importance to every thing it cre3tes .tely terrifies the unhappy.. they makt' us disrc.· his refl~hll. and makes them . it flies to the future. being left unaltered by events. which is. in the very bosdm .of retirement. aild the po\\"cr of reasop is mO!'e than e~er en· feebled. believe that the pain they endure iseternaI. }ish every thing that is simple and easy. solitude is the first of blessings. they are continually opposing t)hstacles to his true destination.. assumes an endless variety of forms froOl the busy workings of thought j the brain takes fire. The <lull uniformity of their days holds dllt no change to them even of their suffering j the violence of such unhappiness.the bustle of the world. being better suit'ed to • its distempered habit. much more likl'ly to agitate it. the calm and silence that surrounds them teems to inimlt the tumult of their soul.

[ 252 ] • tabli5hed general ideas are made to yield to par. and sighs only for the absence of l}ain. are so harmoniously adjusted to this moral disposition. It is then that self.arying aspects of the rural scene.. the philosopher holds no converse but with the rural scenes that surround him. when we arrive at that period of life when the soul begins to' be wearied with en. makes lip its happiness of a kind of melancholy.charms than' is generally imagined. meras of youth. while his 50\11 is perfeCtly attuned and harmonized to the mild sensations which these scenes inspire. The mind that can bid theh1 an eternal farewell.. vernment requires a more firm and steady hand. when it tires even of hope. that one might be tempted to believe that Providence intended it should become the general disposition of mankind. ticular impressions.ga. The . and towards which every thing seems to draw us back. • . and that every thing concurred to inspire it. that possesses more . ing enjoyments that are more a kin to the chi. and from which it derives aids for thinking and for living.. deavouring to fashion its own lot. But in retirement and retreat. and all the incidents that diversify it. All nature seems to acquiesce and partido pate in thes~ntiments which men at that period . as it blit rarely happens that we can arrive at philosophy '\ithout having made some attempts at obtain.

the roar of storms. and which constitutes the only situation of the heart which leaves to me. the still serenity of a summer's evening. the natural result of his destiny. all these movements of the elements. the murmurs of the • wind. beget similar impressions. all these dif.[ 283 J • nf life seem to experience. • • . ferent pictures. and breathe upon the soul that mild melancholy. Gitation all its activity and all its force. the most congenial sentiment of man. the hoary frosts of winter. • • • - .

• rtI. the examination of which would suffice for the whole of its own occupation. I mean that of study. a kil'!d of inward and home-felt satisfaction which equally grows out • • • • • . of that inscrutable and inexplicable faculty. the exercise of thought.C285 :l • • • . it enables man to indulge in an exquisite enjoyment. minion of the passions. it had been bestowed upon us at once in all its plenitude.01' STUDT. a treatise on the passions ~hould be the place to record the history of the influence which such a disposition may exert over happiness. • • WHEN the mind is disengaged from the do. ally unfolded. But there is also. . in the mere pleasure ·of thinking and of'enriching our minds with the knowledge and the thought~ of others.' • • • CHAP. is the scope of our endeavours and the object of our ambition. if instead of being gradu.bringing forth a work that must attraCt general admiration. or of . • • • When the hope of making SGme splendid discovery.

soever nature it may be. ployment the means of escaping from the tor. v. • of the necessity of being in action. ment which succeeds to labour.hat. . Labour.• C286 J . while they tend to extin• • guish it. vindicates the soul from the tyranny of the passions. by directing the mind to. verts it from ideas that annoy. Physical labours afford to a certain class of society. of \. in like manner di. derives also from that exercise and em. they beguile time. ?vIan.ards intelleCttlal objects. in this succession of toil and repose. there is no room left for moral pain. though by means altogether different.their . and which tie him down to no kind of dependance. Existence is l! benefit which we do not cease to enjoy . ments of the heart. while. and study. but the mo. while . These labours suspend the action of the soul. chimeras start up and infest only the leisure and the holidays oflife. Mechanical occupations tranquillize thought. whose faculties of mind must be employed. sweetens and improves the sentillJent of life. and out of our desire to arrive at perfection:. • . . nearly similaI: advantages with regard to their happiness. sentiments which are natural to man. they permit us to live without suffering.

because nature imposes on him the exercise of the faculties which nature has besto~ecl. to the· he. . . _ • • . an objeCt towards which our pro. The love of study. . namely.. But no kind of l. without any application for foreign aid. its dependance upon chance and upon mankind.steristics of passion. on the contrary.art\l to cohtent itself with the good it can do to others. Study holds out an object which is sure to yield in proportion to our efforts. while the road that leads to it exhibits variety without the dread of vicissitudes. and which exercise and arouse it.• C287 J Philosophy benefits us only by what it takes away: study impal:ts a portion of the pleasures which we eQdeavour to derive from the passions: it is a continual aclion. far from depriving life of tpat interest which it is eager to inspire.. or furnishes such as are s~1ffi· dent for thought.except •that one only which causes all its misfortunes. all the chara.e' HeClion can derive happiness from the nothingness of eternal sloth. To genius it may be proposed to delight in its own powers and pro. carries with it. gress is certain. Study conducts liS through a series of new objects. and ensures success that can never be followed • by a reverse. and man cannot withdraw himself from action. gress. it supplies the place and effect of events.

Whether it be employed in reading. fore its effort!. or with a dull uniformity. ( ~S8 j Days that are m:lrked with a' 'sad simila~jty by misfortune. whose time is employed by study. the mind performs a labour that . in fine. and gratifies its hopes. is to give one's mind that impulsion which com. for they bear away with them every other. his days are 'sweetly diversified from each other by the diflerent pleasures.t . the next day..blem. by irksomeness. The mind rejeClsj as it were. the poEsession of which his powers of thought have atchieved. The great point to be attended to. it aspires to the knowledge of a Dew concatenation of thoilghts. furnish the man. with a great variety of in. it delights in a finished whole. :md advances direCtly tll"ards its object' j and \\ ith the same spring with which it bounds to· wards futurity. which for a length of time had puzzled his ingenuity. spontanEOusly. or ill composing.begets. • . what is imperfeCt and incomplete. that risea Le. curiosity. cidents.' In· struction . culiar and marked characteristic to this kind of enjoyment is. at another he is struck with a new beauty that shines upon him in an unknown work. tbat the consciousness of having felt it in the evening secures the repetition of i. At one time he lights on the solution of a pro. . and what gives ape. mands and regulates the first operations.

.non of its own ideas.wAoie universe. in a word.ich. which unveils itself tQ our. The consideration of .. i.- [ 289 J • contimlally briil~s home to it the consciousness . comes as real as the pleasure derived by a 1'0' bust man from bodily exercises proportioned tci his strength'. eye~. of the jllstnessof its prodllClions or the extent or its powers. our own· particular lot is swallowed up in· that Qf'the. and that the consciousness of one's moral existence becomes. min~ling itself with this enjoyment. . 2 l' • . " .t be. when he des~ribes the first impressions inspired by the statue of Pigmalion. imd before he supposes him to taste of the pleasure of loving. ing of abstract ideas. ' • • . not to the SUfferings of the heart. a lively lind :t delightful sentiment. The soul discovers a vast source. even though a certain degree of las'situde should succeed to this fatigue of self-exertion. ence a real enjoymen t in the sensation of self. It is especially by the combining and develop. but to pure and sim pIe pleasures. tion in the study of the sciences. of consol:z. and without aliy refleCtion of . makes hinl experi. to rest. tha't the mind is daily • enabled to expatiate beyond the limits that yesterdlly confined its range. The labo\lr of shidy w'ould consign us. . How numberless the refleCtions wh. to the' sleep of thought. Rousseau. selie love. in the conteil1" pl.

. Subjection to a common law from which no one is exempt.. . the' intense Jl. and abstraction steals· liS from our. Without question. . . where millions of beillgsare tasting. never gives rise to those gusts of rage which an unexampled un. selves. from which arises . delivers up the sOlll to a train of philosophical meditations.ho feels ~t. while we reflect on the generations that. . at the same time with us. fortunateness would excite: for.either the bliss . have succeeded each other throllgha succession . while we contemplate those \\Orlds without number. . fortunes. of history ~ that the knowledge ?f the calamities that have befallen ollr fellow -men before our time. or the bitterness . prompt us to assign to the former the right of prescribing to the latter.[ £90 J • while they tend to generalize ev~rything. a melancholy that is more easily to be endured than the pain which accompanies our own mis. and each person endures it according himself only: it is certain. dour even of the individual seQtiment begins to co~. (he impression of p:lin is absolute for hinl \v. . of existence.of sorrows and • of ills. .of thought above that of suffering. and • by raising· in our estimation the faculty . • to • • • - - . nevertheless.r.. incline us to regard ourselves as one of the thousandth combinations of the universe. that the study.' .

' • . •. genuity. when under that dirertion we take a wide survey of all the mO'8t metaphysical can· ceptions. the passions. yields iil1plicitly to his impres. . The man.' to g'ro7. armed with all the reo Sou'\. . except thought.[ 291 . the soul. impugns the spirituality of . Several' writers havi discovered andadvariced the most . even the 5. sions.eady begull. . . fords an exquisiteconsolatiol1. cltlar system. one can deny but talI1cd that a belief in the imniortaJity of the soul af. born.ces of thought. and for' thought. '. advances bya kind of progression. 011 the contrary. The wonders of what' is infLlite appear of higher probability. But thought. I . all ~depcnd ali the three great reras of life. ni~rdore. on other subjects. . • . existence. no. never fails to' meet with moments wilen. must derive fr0111 the exercise of his in. every thing. the terln of which we cil11l1ot descry. w~ perceive that it embraces the uni· verse.V'~ and to die. J Whatever difference'of opinion may be enter.' ': .I . and when we yield and permit the reins to the direCtion of thought. but the' l11~ral instinct condemns that effiJrt of in. happiness. who. .uccess· of his eHarts begets' dOl1bt~or'~vhat he endeavour8 to confirm. to be . and transports us beyond the boundaries of the material space we inhabit. ' '.". e~ernity is ah. subtile reasonings in proof of materialism. lin biassed by allY parti. loudly proclaims dissolution. and" he who.

that an abstraCt truth' brightens into greater perspicuity.l it. as much on the small interval of time which they devote to conteniplat.<Iud depel1'. beyond. and become inseparable fron. but ordinary bminess. as upon the degree of courage which they evince in supporting them. that pbiut. till. wha~e\'er time is em ployed on them. is whoJJy engrossed by the illusions• of the imaginatiun and the heart. i.us.C2fl2 J • • telleCiual faculties. It is true. The \\ ise moderation of studious philosophers depends. That undisturbed attention which study and ilJeditatioll require. or::n event that nearly concerns . indeed.iinmensl: and end· less career to o~r fears imd to. they abo ~orb the soul. . s\\ol!en into· undue magnitude. .is upon aslIlall lluml-er of simple and rapidly conceived ideas. These ilIu~: sians ~oon constitute a l'art of the ohjeCl: itself. of the diversion of • • .e. by opening an . or distorted from itsnatural form. ing the events of their lives. a mare lively hope of the immortality of the soul.Qur regrets. This natural effect. by being perpetually pored • lIpon uS the determination we have to lake reo speer in gt bese concerns. perhaps. the more inte::£cly it is considered. enables us to form a clearer judgment of them. by diverting us from too close and anxious a pu(suit of our private interests.

. 293 1 • mind. while it calms. for it is impossible to wage so many conflicts. and \\'e assert our happiness both by the occupations of the mind. whic\l arises fl'om study. But we soon accllstom oursclvestoderive real enjoyments from: other sOlirces than the Stl bjllgation of the pas·.. places us in a situation which. and • . which' cost the conqueror so dear. of Socrlltcs. flatters. To be consciou6 of deriving from one's self alone a distinguishe~ destiny. but throug. It requires no' vulgar strength of complexional disposition to ella ole us to resolve Oil the first attem pts i but the success \\' hich they ensure becomes a . ficacious aid it can furnish·towal"ds the alleviation of pain: for it would be impossible for any man to live. and by the perfect independence they bestow. men would be always c{lmpelled to yield to ~heir aCtivity. were he to be continually on the stretch of unremitteQ effort. is the most ef. " Several incidents in the lives of the ancient philosophers.h the 'exercise of one's· own faculties. C. If the fire of the passions were continually to revive from their ashes. sions. kind of habitude that insensibly blunts the sharper sufferings of the soul. not by the indulgence of selfishnes~. of Archimedes. to be happy. the soul.

Th~ degre¢ of agitatioh it requires is altogether be found in the oc. . It is theriiind that we ought to nourish.' and' how high :so.uade them· - .lter~5f that attends it.ever' we may strain the sense: of' i'.be agi~ tated mOre than the soul.C294 J of Plato. but though the vivacity of its pleasures might be• . • .. have. .. cupatfons of "Study. cessary stimuli to 'man. ll1aindormant. indeed. \vithout ever exciting a regret."to . rather 'enthusiasts in their idea 6ftheenjoyments· of study.ith the will of other men: what species of pain can it. .. tray us into this mistake. In this kind of taste and propensity' of the mind there is nothing natural but'the pleasures it afforcls. for imagining. . . Hope and curiosity. _. S9me Qf tl)~ . The mere s~mple lov~. therefore. . . subject us to? . the' only ne. the nature of its at. given no small room . telldant pains could not fail to correa it.end~avoured to' p:er.that study was a passion. to • . "-e bhaII only enhance our enjoyrl1ellts. The greatest chagrin that can attend'the pursliits of . . ' The mind requires.andents. of study never commits liS \. . though the passion's should re~ .. difficulties thatmay retard it: but even these contribute to sharpe!1 and improve the pleasure of success. study are the obstacles and. . and which w'e rilay stir tip \\ ithout danger. are suffiCiently kept alive by study.

moreover.:n . he who daily grows in information. in some measure.permitted to the milld of mau. of ~~lldy. not succeed in this.lers of the world. . the small portion of knowledge that Pro. the periods of life are equally well adapted to the enjoyment of this felicity: first.least. • r • • • • • • By :1 man of impassiolzed dispo. by a constant exercise of the mind.e '\ve can prev. be{or.. nlust qave 'obtar!le~ an aa\v~.. " ~ I '.. to spi. I~.l the breas~ of~lp.. . : .n any i~ternalj~dge to ~lark the:'p~ogress of his ow~ declille. bUL\\.' ..en. wi~ho~lt leaving i.pleasure of exploring and discovering the won. . who masters.l.al1~ relish that serve to appre~~ate them. because it is sufficiently demonstrated by elt~ perience. . we are sure that our intel. in the. . at . .t. seelJls to ~nticipate the taste <?f ~hose immortal delights. ~las.terj' over our 0v. .tha. souls. we may hope to prolong the energy of its poweJs: and..' ' leRual faculti~s wi~-her and decay together \Vit~ th~ taste.c.tion.and already.<. though we should . . .g. the career. every thing te'nd~ t~ s!li~l~us from. ritualize his being.[ 295 ] • selves that the bliss of Paradise consisted solely. All.si. .· • " . sutfe~iri. vid~~ce hath. Indeed.· ~'ho~ • without having made any pr~Iiminary prepara. " . .t it from disturbing tlie free cxerci'seof thought.

Whether he be employed in speaking or in writing on different subjects. should take ·it into his head to devote himself to study. There is nothing can divert the attention of a man who has su bmitred himself to the dominion of one particular notion: either his mind· beholds no objeCt at all. or it beholds ·only such as continually recall that notioh. but in fixing us permanently upon only one.does not adnlit the l'ause of a monlent: he is soun seized with an unconquera~Ie disrelish of every thought that is foreign 'to the one that engrosses his at· tention. his ~oul continues. give to long lingering hours scarcely the appearance of an instant! The folly that results from the passions does not consist in confusing all our ideas. by plunging and absorbing !-Is in one predominant thought. To him all species of instruction must appear tedious and insipid. is tinged by one inward sentitnent. . every thing that thinks.• • . when compared to those musings of the heart. every thing that suffers within him.- r • • 296 J tions.not link togetherJ ' or as. to linger under the pressure: of one and the same pain: the ordinary actions of. \\ hich. during the whole of the time. life he performs as jf he were in· the state of a somllambulist. there could be reaped from it none of the advantages which I have now been describing. the irritation of which. his ideas do.

for. at length. ness. But it Soon finds reason to repent of its weak. and this time is devoted to the impatient desire of i3'eeio'g it elapsed: he frets and iOlportunes him. Aibldst a thousan'd unavailing efforts.in:tnity of the resources which study fllay IHIPP]Yj' btlt it is utterly impos5ible for the 2Q . while those of the learhed produce fair forms of wisdom. responding idea. ried and fatigued) yields to the im pulse that hurries it along. the ideas of others cannot n~eet in them with any thing like a cor. but that he may not die.s piCture jg by no. for the meditatiolJs of the impassCOllca man beget hlOnsters. then. he grasps at a mo. and consecrates its sblitary hours to the thought by whiCh it is pursued. hot that he may live. To the im· . . The wretch is. and the whole of his existence is but one rest· .certain Occupation for a limited tihle. in order to escape from his pain.passiolled and to the stttpid man study causes an equal degree of irksomeness: in neither 'does it create any interest to win attention. wea. '1l1ent of reflection: he prescrioes to hhnself a . from different causes. the . . The soul. Tneans intended to prove. less effort to 'eoaple him to support it.• C297 J sodate in his head. Thi. once more compelled to resort tti stUdy. nor do they imprint the slightest vestige upon his memory.

wandering at night amidst the silent -tombs. by a . of that man of an accursed race.(298 J -impassioned man to enjoy these. himself torecover his independence: while he-remains a slave. no living being takes' any interest in his existence: his sole comfort is·the contemplation of Nature. he prepare. it is in vain for him to attem pt tasting those pleasures. beings with horror. Incessantly do I pore upon certain pages of a book. intitIed The 11ldimz Hut: never have I met with any thing so profound in the mora. the outcast of this world.Proscribed: his voice is unheard or unheeded. and inspiring his. upon which the grace oflife had thrown him. fellow.'!' . though guiltless himself of any crime: • in a word. forlorn and deserted by the whole universe.lity of feeling as the picture that is there drawn of the situation of Paria. I.long train of refleCtions. the enjoyment of which can only be approached by a full and conlplete free· dam of the soul. There'you see man exhibited in a real struggle wit~ his own strength: no living being comes to his relief. he also is of a race . unless. and with the contemplation of Nature he is satisfied. Such is the life which the man of feeling -drags on upon this earth. .

tile faculty of thinking. namely.men will not cea~e to oppress him! .nable him to avail himself o. but that he may form a j udgmen t of mortal life! And if chance should happen to form an union the most fatal to human happiness. beneficent God of Nature! raise him above the sufferings under which his (ellow. do not then abandon those misernble rcings who are thus destined to perceive every thing. mid to . • . [ 299 J his sentimcnts only tend to sequester him. or approaches him only to molest him.f the fairest of thy gifts. uphold their reason to the pitch of their affections and their tdeas. suffer from every thing which they perceive. not that he may experience. his desir~s are never accom pUshed i e'v.ame fire which served only to . the union of genins with sensibility. . 0. .ery thing around him either kceps at a di~tance from him. consume them! .• . 'and enlighten and cheer them with the s.lc.

in independent pleasures.. \ . but woe to th~se who are unable to avail themselves of the last consolation. at least ill my conception of it.---Virtue.. I felt it no easy sacrifice to confess. IV. is nearly conneCled with the heart: I have called it Bentjicence.c 301 j • • .. . that to love passionately did not constitute leal happiness: I therefore now endeavour to find out. whatever may be his cast of chara8er. power of every man. or whatever the nature of the. • - . • PHILOSOPHY requires a certain energy of charaCler: study requires something systematic in the mind. or rather of the sublime enjoyment which is still in the. but to specify thereby all the aCtions that emanate from aClive • goodness. the most congenial situation to the fruition of sentiment.situation in which he may be placed. not in the very limited sense which is generaIly given to the term. in the resources we possess within ourselves. OF BENEFICENCE. CHAP.. .

his character depends. in him is t'xhibi. or recommend too late to the knowledge and attention of nations. [ 302 ] Goodness is the primitive virtue.not upon the degree of civilization which may prevail in the country that gave hini birth.ich adorns youth. 'the good man could n6t have conceived a cast of disposition different from his own. . like all our faculties: it aCts unconsciously.. . and of every nation. that prime of beauty wh. - .es within us as the principle of life. imd it is only by comparison thilt it learns to appreciate its own value. The melancholy knowledge of the human heart. piness.m~vement :. it alone is engraven upon the heart of man. though unlaboured . it exists. to which we are introduced by an acquaintance with the world. ness li.. without being the effect of our own will. enables us to derive a most • • . it lives by a spontaneous . . and as it alone is indispensably necessary to human hap. to the discharge of which we are 'unprompted by goodness.ted moral nature in her p'l!rity. It seems to be a gift of Heaven. reo main consigned to those codes which a diversity of country or of circumstances may modify. while the other duties. and in which every thing is ~raceflll. man. But the good-natured man is of every age. as it 'were. Good. Until he had fallen in with a bad. moral nature in her essence: we there behold.

for.i in the emotion which accompanies them. were we to make ourselves dependant on their' gratitlide. or even listens. afford you. The first impulses of . 'neveitheless~ some tran:>ient gleams of enjoyment by the mere expression of that sentiment.. • • . even those. every sort of charaCter seems to brighten. Goodness participates also in all the enjoy. It never yields. not so much as to the desire of inspiring a reciprocal sentiment: it enjoys nothing but what itself bestows. \\ ho would disturb the tranquillity of life. Goodness nei· ther wispes for. but concentrates the whole of its feli· city in the consciousness of its own feelings. to anyone suggestion of selfishness. but it differs from sentiment by that eminent characteristic. to which is invariably attached the secret of human hap. When this resolution is faithfully adhered to. . an<.[ 303 J • • lively pleasure from the pracHce of goodness. We set an higher value upon ou~selves from seeing how few can attempt to rival USj and this reflection makes us aspire to the perfection of a virtue. It would appear as. if the present \vere a certain pledge . nor expects any thing from others. to which the miseries and the guilt of the world have left so many 'evils to redress• • - . ments of sentiment. piness or of human misfortune.gratitude leave nothing to be l()oked .

perhaps. .lpon the. is not less encumbered with 5uperiltition than religion. that whatever is not natural is 110t necessary. . however.far. could he ever bring himself to lay it out.power of refleCtion. plea. that their impression does nllt' depend e~en 1.. very high and very refined satisfact. may afford to the eliergetic soul that can pracli~e them a . There are virtues wholly made up of fears and of sacrifices. it is imFssible to suppose it to be found in a "ituation that calls for· the exertion of continual efforts: but goodness ~f.. then every step yoa go back is cheered by hope. in differentcountries.ion: but. a:> we have happiness in view. . . and that morality. and the imagina. the time may come when observatiol1 will discover.hen brought to their most accomplished perfettion. which. If. the very illusion which it glances on him is innocent .[ 304 ] of the future. and when the ~enef~Clor receives the promise. w. sures \\ !lich his treasure. . . As . . tion n. a rethjspe61ive view is to be taken of one's self. at least. fords such easy and such simple enjdyments. 3S the miser enjoys the.ay enjoy it. .--withollt being in peed of Its performance.· The goodbne has ~one serves ~ a kind of~gisJ which imagination in- .of all danger. would procure him.

• • • • ..-sclie' u' man fj'om the gripe of grief or pain. goodness would' still continue to promote the intehtion of Providence. ' . How happy is the' man who· has ~hanced to save the life of a fellow-creature! He can .are not at a loss for an asylum \\herein to ta~e refuge: \\e are illlmediately transported in thought to the happy situation which the bene· fits we have conferred must ensul'e us. • " . that.. ' . How far more happy' still is the man who has securely eotablished' the happiness ofa feeling heart! In saving the': life of another \ve cannot 'ascertain the nature • of the favour we bestow: but when we r. in'the nature of things. there' should' have arisen a bstacles to that pel.. . . he can no Jonger feel burthensome OJ' loathsome ·to Limself.[ :305 J between OlH:"S self and misfortune. feet felicity which 'it may be t11e will or the Su· • preme Being to "bestow uponlns creatures. and . . I • • _ • • • • . • " tt-rpOS'C5 . if I may 50'speak.. when \ve O-pen anew the source of his enjoyments.' we may rest asslIfed that we have aCted as his benefactor. "Were it trlle.' . endeavour to second its operations.. we .no longer indulge the idea of the inutility of his existence. 2R . and \~ould. should we even be pursued by nJisfortune.

e tempests ".306 J . . tccause they belong to a septimcnt that is always the SJ!11e. ' It is not in the power of any event to abate an atom of the pleasur~s which ~ctive goodne~l! has procured us.e engender a despair too fierce t9 permit a • . . . by aiming at no objeCt but tl)~ mere enjoyment of its own acts.}' day. life. The happil:ess which arises frop.d 'tp estrange us from .flJlIy feel the in· fluence of the beneficent virtues.eart to pity ~or misfortupe : bufit is not amidst th. . : . has often been ob.[ .rich that passion exc. can . served to be\\. Gooduess has 110· thing to do either with the past or the future: a series of present mom~nts constitutes its . andwhi!=h !t is always easy to . or the ~isfoi-tunes they Faul. . the equilibrjum of its soul is so perfeCt and uni.!ilhis own s~crifices: ambition discovers in them the causes of his misfortune~.!lever be deceived in its calculations. that. ~mploy. It is cert(linly by po means true.ites tLat the soul call develope (lnp. but goodness.gopdness : there is one .) the passions produces a diversion tco powerful.llly on evel:. .al~ th~ passions ~ep. Lpve.of th~m in particul!1r th~t rlisposes the h. .. form that it is ~ever violently hurried towards any particular period or jlny particular idea i its ~ishes and its efiorts bear equ. • • o ' . .

but passion continues . As} however. .ulty. there is the situ:ltiort l that calls for perfeCt ease or death: no partiiil consolation. . • _ I • . He 'Whd has felt the laceration of the tender ' . . tinder their controul. ' . so also evel1 gdddness . joyments which a few acts of .ll't. . The sufferings of gth~. unkss fdl' him in whos-e heart has germinated the prin.soul is ahvays more capable of the sllbliillevirtues.:~ 'may easily affect a heart already moved . ' lWl!Blo11:"of'anlent illLisions. any far.• • .when its triumph has not been pur~ "ch'ased without a conii ict. . - . • • o • • the ' . no random." . by rts . Q\Vn particular situation. . " . and of the rimre reAned enjoyhlents. . . " ' . and ta~tesl' iii . and .beneficence might . . and even of \dld a-nd Ula:ddirig cle~irdJ. does not become a living sOurce of happiness. . . . the .vel'yklnd of i11isfortune. .f • I f . The en. procure are scarcely perceived by thcimpassionea heart that performsthell1.~iple'of the pussions. . . is intimately acqultinfed wTtI'!" ~. "olirs the principle of life. while it gn'aws and de. sions. C S07 ] 'man. fixed on'.. when irhas been tempered in the furnace of pas.. fortuitous pleas·ui·e can be of any efficaCldus aid.. Could PrometheusJ \V'hile tied to his rock of torri1elit. to retain the free (xercisenf. . .nothi'ng but its own ohjetl:. be sensible of the smile of returning spring or the serene cf· flilgcnce of a summer's day r ' While the vul~ ture sticks to the hc:.

. still prone to pain. which .0llverst: with objeCts pf an in· ferior order. The. [. .vours to soothe them. h~s waded through a v~riety of. selves pown to c. and the abyss which . "a."w.the . .his soul.- . . with independence upon others~ and with the conscious and constant exercise of one's faculties.e vq1ca· noes have sunk so deep. let them-.thes. can only be filled up by acti \'~ an d rapturous sen timent~" W.508 J his endea.pft. . . . converts the exercise of goodness 'into an enjoyment. suffedngs.hich ~in9port beyond .but as it regards others. and teach us to consider Qurlif~.at' self." He who. _..objeCl. . . ' \ . perfeClion.Qur tboughts. . and whose' tranquillity is oWing only tp their deficiencies of perfeCtion. or through chance. and. not in relation to ourselves.um which ~~e Pllssiqns leave after them. -. from his own fault.. ' .ho segm to be but half-formed.ourselves .. wholly un known to that species of men. gree of sensibility which inheresin ~very thing that interests the soul.. endeavours to rest on that kind of prayer which to him ap' pears most efficacious. ~~. pleasure. that de. ~s eager to obviate the recurrence of th~e cr~c1 scourges that continually hover over our heads. ' Beneficence fills the heart as ~tudy occupies the mind: it is also attended with the pleasure of arriving . But. passions cannot.alo~le can supply the vacu.

to . whatevel' is gene~ r~lIs in the passions is also to be found in the exercise of goodness: and this exercise.have subdued. though the noblest employ of'the most perfect reas9n~ is also no' 'tinfrequently the phantom of the iIlUSiOllS of the mind and heart. and to taste of life beyond the sphere of our own destiny. and of exerting an influence over the lot of many.'whatewl" may be his sitl1ati(jl\~ 'Jilight. ness' can extelid th~ effeCts of ourexiste'nce. 'The'multitude of evils that maY be . • • . like ambition. make the desire of being beloved its main ·springand its hope. Goodness does 11Ot. l~equire a return for what it per(ormsj but it. . the most congenial gratification to impassioned charaCters that 'always retain some traces'of the' emotions they. [ 309 J' • This 'is.. supplies the means of extending our existence. power.dual one of the attribntes of . and bestow upon every indivi. . . that of influencing 'the lot of others. like'love. at the sam~ time. However.' Goodness does not. the most natural resonrce. brought upo'n 'us by the most common run of men -or 'every chal~acter inclines us to imagine .. It moreover per~ mits us to indulge the mild emotions of the healt. bydevotinghimselfs9!ely. desoIate or obscure be the situation into which chance may have'thrown us. thatagehel~ol1sbeing. goo~. In a word.

rc~' he devotes to its relief every refleCtion • of his mind: nevel.I 310 J " the impulse of goodness. Altnont cannot boast of credit or pa· tronage: he is the objeCt. in~ what thoughts he should call up in hi. implored . and he does . but never has the voice of distress. aed arm hin~erf. Behold Almont! his fortune is. li. in. vern o:ent.<lIld is requisite to such a state of "miCtion. ledged: he never speaks but to f<?rward the in· terests of another: he is never without some resource to hold out to misfortune. has he obsel.S or • .out remarking to him exaCtly wbat is proper for him to heat. to S:lVe the person who so· licits it the painful refieaion of having solicited 'in vain. 'not \\ ithstanding the narrow limits that confine Ilis destiny." indeed. order to discover the direCt or the oblique con· solation which conforms. of bestowing sOl'lJe small temporary aid.ved a Illan lao bouring under affliCtion with. of general esteem. create an interest for' his heart. in some measure. without consulting his 01\"11 head and' heart. or. more to relieve it than the most powerful mi· nister.his compassion without'his having immediately discovered the means affording relief. at least. without sedulously examin. however. mited and impaired. and his courage is universally acknow. with a kind of go. an aim for his endeavours. . .

that creates· and c/?mmands an interest. Almont. " • • . _ • I • . of courtiers tp.. ~veare. that you . took it for granted it must. The 'n~ore high minder.. . ifitre. lents: into sorrow. (ortullate.whom that very self·love had laid low•. but if it appears humbled. howev.l' tionor of lubo·ur.. .!.. This profound knowledge.wl\.mind.d which he ought to keep bUl=k : nnd all: ~Ili~ ~it'ho~lt the least appearance of affecl. It is impossible to listen to him without the tenderness with which he· touches on your sorrows awakening those emo· tions of which your withered and exhausted soul had .. from which springs the. and the lpwer w. ' . though the moment before you saw him.of the human heart. you cannot converse. he reinstateSt .tlJeir sovereign masters. support forthe:mal1.. - . If yon meet with Almont when your spirits are d('pre~sed. he raises it up.already become unsusceptible :. .. I .an. disr8gards it.. 101 • . itj::and cOhverts it into a prop and. . . If selflove seems. ~ • .. . bc:fQre i't: .in· a word.rdl\. is employe.. . the ~jpre we respeCl:distress.. prove irksome to the ears of Qthers. . satisfied.• CgIl J • • • . adulation.~ . by' All)10nt to assuage the sufferings of the un· . his kind solicitous attention to what yOifsay convinces you that you are in a situa· tion.. • • • • . . . " . so dispirited were you Ly your distress. ". Uiat he docs not hold out to you cn. .er slightly..' • • • . with him.e bow.

by exhibiting your destiny und~i 'ne\v and unexpeCted co'lours. but it is franl airothet we must expect the cons'olations of hope. As we contemplate and refieCt on life.: ilild new incentives to hope: he relieves youi. or mere:y from iI. Almont never deviates from that inflexible principle. hara~s and deject: then. 'he endeavours to divert. \\ e behold the greater part of a. By the assistance of reason we niay 'have' some power oyer ourselves.cheer you with advice:. but it is .may all that breathe adopt him as a model! Hr.only to solace them: and his study of mankind' has solely for its object to discover the Dleaus.: while its' diCtates . which forbids him to take any liberty that could prove detrimental to others. :~'Al· mont never thinks of displaying his prudence.es the workings of your soul. and wins your imagination to a different point of view. by which he may console them. • • . and a man such as nlankind should be proud to re5cmblc] • . .indeed.'grief froin its fixed uniformity. J ' . cQuragcnlcnts against despondency.' not· to lead you astray: he watci.ortal beings 1'1 et and fume.[ Sl~ .sclves. either for their own ·interest.image or the thought of that pain \\ hich their own hearts refuse or are undisciplined to feel.difference for the . is a man. 1Jay the Almighty re\~ard Almorit! .

in the share of protection we derive from the maintenance of general order. principle. we regain the value of what we individually sacrifice. that inspires admiration or esteem..[ 313 J Without lilly inten ~ion "hatever to weaken the sacred tie of religion. All the real virtues take their source in goodness. it may fairly be as· . that we must ultimately trace back every thing . cl:nsidered as . in imitation of that of knowledge. • • 25 . as in the payment of duties and taxes. On this groUild is it that mankind have an interest ill .. depends on the good or the evil which we may do to others by this or that aC\ion.we to form a tree of morality.the sacrifices made by each individual. and were .serted. :i. in its most extensive ac~eptation. that the basis of morality. and that. it would be to this sentiment.

ially strikillg idea (if the suffei:illg!'r . Every minute that hlOi'al pains e-nd lll'e fillg me \dth rearM appreQcnsions.• . . ' . no il}f:erest to entice him.be proper to i'wipitulate whiit I have already. were they to eie. in the. " I be told. pioi'~ 'the tnoral world. it nuiy . What! shali I . you condemiiall the fmpassitmed aft~Etjons? Sad arid melancholy j indeed. I i-IEiu~: dose • I " " this trst part: Lot pre"l~us to hly entering on the second. ' .apiiJg from the. . could flatter thenlselVeS 1vith the hopeof making such a discovc(y: Illy intention wlls solely to investigate the means of ~sr. . same manner as physical sufferings affright the generality of hlankind: lind could they but prt'viously cont~iv e aa (-qi. advanced. is the Ibt \\ hith you hold out to in<ln! No spring to tnove hihl. no u!tillJate ohjeCl: to which he may tend! But first iet it be relllembel'ed that I never ~reahlerl of drawing out the pitfure of happiness: none bilt althYlllists. ' . • to NCLU SIO N.moi·e poignant pains.

or at the advantages which we make but unavailing efforts to acquire. petually at variance with the nature of things. man per. . a spring of aCtion. with their full force and vehemence. The passions are the spring . Our respeCtive tastes :stamp a llew value upon what we possess. out becoming the prey of impassioned enlotions. " Those who extol the charm which the passions diffuse through life mistake their tastes for their passions. Neither is it to be denied but that we may find through life an interest. but in what pJssion fancies to exist. and which. with.. they would ~hrink\Vith equal hor. by settin!. .a sense of the re~tlessness of our faclIlties. makes that essentially necessary to.md bound of man towards ·another destiny ~ they' importune liS ~'. but the pussions grasp. preference argues a wish. and every . that must be attained by real means. an aCtion: but'the object of the desires of passion does not consist in what is. an ohject to\\ards which to tend. it is a species of fever.L 316 J ' ~f • the soul. ror from the passions which expose'them to those sufferings.:ith . and upon What we are likely to obtaill. Every circumstance that occurs may deserve a preference over this or that other. at the objeCts we have lost. which continually pre~ sents an imaginary end.his happiness which it is impossible to accomplisli.

. who. \ . in the mean time. and of the vanity of human life: they presage. rests satisfied with the heart felt enJ. and of rendering tnem useful to his fellow-men: he surely is not unhappy.testiniony of. Solitude is necessary only' to those who cannot rely on their own strength to rescue them from the dominion of the passions which assail them in the world. twits. [ ~17 J .. perhap~.. that of a boundless.own 'conscience: he surely is not unhappy. may delight .' the pleasure of this very self-devotion. vitiate and annoy. without exaCting the return of gratitude it degerves : even in the case of sentiment itself. upon literary pur. his . but t~e present they. if in these'dilferent situations we feel c01l5dotls QI' . He surely is not unhappy. bent. while he discharges SOl11e pu bUc elilploy. who.ho. ~ by no Uleans pretended 'that a solitary life was that which: ollght to be preferred. . ". In short. a fllt~re existence. l1nlimited attachment. thinks only of the pleasure of happily expressing his ideas. While I described the enjoyments that arise from study and from philosophy. . iil'Hie narrower circle of private life. .in thus devoting himself to another merely fo.>yment of the good he does. he who does not expect from man a facuIty rather celestial than human. looks for no other recompeilcein the performance of his duty but the.

As long as we look to others for any ret"Ul'n \\hatsrever. as it were. but the passions are especially charaCTerized by resting our happiness on the cooperation of others. Chlldren taste tif life. For them dl!sirej indeed. there may oe something tasteq of the delight which the passions inspire. Philosophy and its powers subsist within ourseives. without letting ourselves be hurried away by its stream. -\\ here the passions preci.the great master-work of reason is to lead tiS back to what natura suggests. . and. so lorig is there a certainty of our unhappiness: but.[ 318 ] stlfficien t fortitude to rely' upon onrsel yeS 'aloneJ and attach ourselves to nothing but what is reo cognized by our own feelings. drop by drop: they never link together the three periods that compose its span. pitately press forward. conneCts togeth'er to· dar • . but more especially if what constitutes self is not p~rmitted to depend either IIpon a tyrant within ourselves. • • Chiidren and wise men resemble eachotheji in many striking particulars. tra. ot on subjects from without. if we but assert a certain empire over th~ vicissitudes of life. tmminglcd with any of the bitterness they in" fuse. then there is IHI necessity of seeking the rewurces of mere solitude. velling through the various roads trodden by the pursuits of man.

.- . standipg. cannot recreate the mind with ' .there is 110 more gal. • and to morrow . • .has not destroyed in them . Philosophy. ' \ . enfeebled by this sl. build the science ormoral happiness: we must sail. what is not passion in itself or what passion does not extinguish. i~l reality. because passion .lbdjvision. Philosophers ought to be direCled to the same result by the dread of unhappiness. rather. ' . independent upon the hour that preceded or the hour that follows it. ill their little'life. however. expectation: each hOUI". . the fresh and bloomy impressions of childhood.. -asserts its due portion of enjoyment. they are loosed by happiness-from every constraint. the term where the voyage is to end. notwith.. The pleasures they enjoycd are n()t. our eyes intent upon the shore.buf the' present is never vi~ tiated I~y the anguish of. dO\vn the. • . ' '. it must be owned. . while. stl:elum of life. The passions assume the aspeCl: of indepen.are the freest of all beings. ' . every hO).this. . dence.than on. . nor lull us in its happy ignorance of that ca· reer which termiOlJtesin death: . Children. they spring up anew every moment.lr has attached to it its own peculiar lot. 'when left 'to thel1l~elv~s.cither the ge~ms of the lighter thoughts • or the shades of the impassioned sentiments: in a word. is themop~I:upon which we ought to .

till they finally deprive man of all power over himself. Gur mode of existence should start from. indeed. not return to ourselves. the consequence of which is. and. The science of moral happinesss. of the less degree of misery. we should al· ways be the impulsive power of our own des· tiny. but only upon what we can do for ourselves. which burns for the according. might become as positive as that of every other science: it reo quires only to find out what is best for the • . the only true system that can enable us to escape from pain is that which teaches us to shape and square our life. From the passion for glory. that barrier which.• C320 :J ling and oppressive yoke: they are continually at variance or in a confliCt with every thing that exists: they trample down the barrier of morality. that is to say. sion of one object. secures tnem a due space. united SUffrage of the world. ing. that they afterwards spend their violence against obstacles that are continualIy starting up. not upon what we may expect from others. instea~ of narrow. down to that of love. the influence of mankind over us is the only ratio upon which we ought to calculate the degrees of unhappiness. which requires only the attachment and posses. and without ever being the center.

sure and of pain. . may differ according to the 2 T .• • C321 J • greatest number of men ih thegreatest"number of situations. and that the most important of all. ought to consider mankind in the light of their mutual relations to each other. can we link the' minority. should always contemplate man in his habitudes with himself. But the application of this science to this or that particular character is what Tnt1st always remain problematicaL By what chain. parently similar. • • . Bllt there remains to be made one reflecti9II more. in fine. The legislator takes mankind in the bulk. and the moralist. ' \ • • The first step towards this consideration is to oQserve how far events. the mora'· list to the diversity of sensations: the leghi1lator. namely. to consider to what extent it is possible for impassioned souls to adopt the system I have just laid down. as a compound of plea. to the general rule"? and even he who cannot sUbmit to it would equally claim the attention of the philosopher. of passion and of reason. the I110ralist takes them one by one: the legislator must attend to the nature of things. or even a single individual. in this kind of code. in themselves ap. while he considers each individual as a complete moral whole.

It were wrong to insist so much on the internal power of man. One man is wafted into port by the gentle agitation of his natural propensities. And while e\'ery thing in the physical world may be sub. In the most obscure a'nd lOWly situations of life we maywitness conflicts and • viCl:ories which evince a strength and a struggle beyond any thing which the page of history has immortalized. respeCting l1ap. 'that we are to form a:w judgment of the intenseness of the sufferings of life. sirous to ascertain. only jusc when they are founded upon as many particular notions as there are individuals whose lot we may be de. We must attend.[ 32Q J natural disposition of those whom they affect. of glory and of humilia tion. lot of one man may • . then. and even by the degree of this power. to the sufferings that arise from the contrasts of happiness and misfortune. which the. while ~nother is carried in only by the tu. in the appreciation of each individual character. multuous billows of the tempest. \\ ere it not by the nature. The opinions which we form. mitted to a previous calculation. piness are. tion of the person upon whose breast they are impressed. the sensations of the soul are liable to vary according to the nature of their objeCt and the moral organiza.

C323 J exemplify. as I have already observed. therefore. It is. guilt and the elfe61s of guilt as a scourge of nature. which destroys that mild equality that should subsist between the consoler and the consoled. the passions among the buffets of fate: and the more certain charaCters are marked with singularity. Bernard. • . . not on the errors we might blame. I have examined . that he is to be checked. . but on the pain we should al. in my i\lvestigation of the passions. Viewing. OUI' attention should be fixed. they should devote themselves torecalling and setting right the travellers who go . which so thoroughly depraved and vilified man. astray. Human defeCts must be classed among human misfortunes. even the word pardo1Z. in the name and in the behalf of happiness alone that I have COIl1~ batted the passions. leviate. that'it is 110 longer by the precepts of philosophy. Moralists should look upon themselves as resem bling that religious order that was stationed on Mount St. but by the strong curbing hand of the laws. Excluding every thing foreign to the situation of the sufferer. the more trey claim the attention and should exercise the judgment of the philosopher. nothing but ..

their influence over the very person whom they • controll!. on a sudden. J . that your SUfferings take their rise. perhaps. has arrested your ca• • • - . they will almost all be found to prove adverse or fatal to human happiness. and whose sole study is to struggle against events. is still more fatal to happiness than even their adversity. who imagines he discovers in ita degree of' misfortune hitherto unexampled. and you w]l see that it is from t~eir very essence. If there exists in the order of things possible a si· tuation that can shield you from them. to him l say. I will earnestly co·operate in endeavouring to secure it to you. together with me. I will seek for it in concert with you. To him who is over ready to complain of his lot. your mind may fasten upon the event that. that their prosperity. "Ta:~e a survey. of all the various vicissitudes of the human passions. and not from any unexFeCted stroke of fate." But the grand argument that may be urgeq against the passions is. In their moral or political relations there will occur a number of distinctions to be made between the base and the generous. the social and the anti-social passions: but upon a survey merely of -the sufferings they occasion. If you are thwarted in your projects of tbe acquisition or the conserva· tion of glory.- [ S24 .

and yoUI' soul is less dispirited and depressed than if. discoloured the complexion of your life. Nor is this all: I am moreover bold to say. still your life is less a void. however. as it languished and went out in your soul. • [ 325 ] reer. Jour imaginatiO'l1 has something left upon which to fasten. without the intervention of disastrous events. after having fallen upon a heart that would not have been able to endtu"e it. make you expe· rience the bitterest of all worldly sufferings. the withering ·and aridity of one's own sensa· tions. passion alone. that if it be through real faults. you may for ever remain ignorant of what your own heart might have endured. • . . remain a soft. it may even dwell and feed upon illusions. What then is the nu· • . If the object that is dear to your heart has been torn from you by the stern command of those upon whose caprice or authority she depends. at the close of a certain period of time. of unsurmountable obstacles. that you imagine yourself to have missed the objeCt after which your passion hurried. or of improper and imprudent conduct.. the sole enjoyment of three-fourths of our mortal life. 11 tender recollection. had. there may still. which arise still more easily out of the past than from the future. merely by the operation of passion. should your love. the regret for which incessantly corrodes your min~.

be it from me to adopt those pitiless maxims of frigid souls and ordinary un. and yet he fancies that by listening to him one might be saved. seIrcs. It is not by assuring men that they all may triumph over their passions that you reno del' the viCtory more easy and secure. that yol. however. itis by analysing the resources which reason and sensibility may furnish. means. there finishes moral nature? 'Newton would not have attempted to trace the limits of thought. that has formed an idea.C326 J ture of a destiny that carries with it either an impossibility of arriving at one's object or an inability to enjoy it if attained? Far. can take upon him to say.I th\lt . W hen the picture of pain and sufler· ing is strikingly drawn.Y of your gesire of ceasing to suf(er? AI. that we calZ aZw::ys subdue our.l supply them with surer. what lessons can be taught that can add to the force and urgenl. because with truer. yet the first pedant you meet with will endeavour to circumscribe the empire of the soul's emotions: he sees that they produce death. it is by fixing their attention 011 the cause of their unhappiness. . derstandings. but even of a degree of passion beyond that which he may not have experienced. that we calZ always preserve a dominion over ourselves: and who. then. not only of passion.

I have hit oil. cially. should I repent having un· dertaken it. even this may still prove of some little uti-. • [ 3z7 ] can be done for a ~1)an smarting under misfortune is to attempt convincing hill! that he should. lity. • . • Sorely. by disavowing none of its pains. the secret of speaking its OWI1 language" and consequently obtain a patient hearing. and it is prone to look down upon you as partaking of another nature. that amidst the multitude of books on morality that surround tiS. nor is it to be won_ dered at: to the tone. if. if. however. like so many others. againstthe terrible force of the passions. Passion spurns and rejects all advice Uhat does not suppose the painful knowledge of its own influence. shall he appear to you less worthy of compassion? I shall have accomplished my object if I have ~ucceeded in calming the agitated soul with the prospect of returning reposej but more espe. and on this motive alone do I build my hopes. of my voice it cannot be a stranger. however. breathe a milder air in the asylum to which you invite him: but if his feet are tied down to the fiery soil which he' inhabits. by foundering.'. but by acknowledging the dreadful power of the sentiments that tyrannize over it.

tion.• [ 328 J it served only to cdnfirm the belief of frigid souls. ye upon whom their destiny depends. and to generalize the little ex~ • . and in which I fancied I pointed out resources for life. it is upon my own mind also that I am desirous to impress convic. No: do not con. He who can sooth misfortune ollght never to think of chiding or directing it: for general ideas are insupportable to him who suf· fers. to rescue my faculties. in my own impressions. the various movements • of moral nature. in which I describe the passions as destructive of human happiness. to raise myself. if it be another.solace them in the manner they wish to be solaced. in the facility we should experience in surmounting the sentiments that disturb and • vitiate the comforts of life. to examine. but aid and. by a kind of abstraction. demn those unfortunate' beings who cannot cease to be unfortunate: aid and solace them. My objeCt in writing was to discover myself anew amidst the crowd of sufferings that surround me.from the Eervitude imposed on them by sentiment.se this work. who applies them to his particular situation. independent of their impulsion. to a point that ll1ight enable me to observe the opeI • ration of pain on my own mind. • In my endeavour to compo. anel not himself.

lost in time. but to fathom the depths ofthe sOlll. what blunted. • . by placing ourselves as a componellt part ill the V:l~ l1las~ of human destinies. holV arduous and dif. ficultthe task! At one time superstition forbids US to think or reel: it deranges the whole system' of our ideas. .\ here man is los